AN award-winning cricket bat company is bowled over with its latest development.

Viking Cricket, formed just three years ago, has continued its growth with the opening of a shop at Silsden.

The Kirkgate outlet even features artificial grass to give visitors a real-life feel of being at the wicket.

Already the premises have drawn customers from as far away as Scotland.

“We had seen so much interest in our products from across the UK that we felt the time was right to open our first shop,” said business owner, Jeff Wilson.

“With nine county and international players using our brand, more and more people are becoming aware of it.

“By opening the shop it’s freeing-up our workshop to focus on the important task of producing top-quality cricket bats for all our customers, whether that be an international player or a young club cricketer wanting his or her first bat.”

Currently Viking Cricket is a two-person operation, but the workforce is likely to expand with the company.

“We are delighted to have made so much progress since the firm was founded in 2016 and as we continue to grow that will lead to more jobs,” said Mr Wilson.

“In the future, we are looking to train apprentices in the skill of making bats.”

The business received a huge boost after its Valhalla bat won a prestigious award from magazine The Cricketer.

Orders flooded in, not just from the UK but from Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

“To be rated so highly among some of the best-known cricket bat companies in the world was great not only for us but for business in Yorkshire as a whole,” added Mr Wilson.

“And having county and international cricketers wanting to use your equipment is testament that it is of the highest quality.

“One customer was so pleased after receiving his first bat that he ordered two more – saying in 20 years playing cricket they were the best bats he had ever had!”

An official opening of the shop, by a top former cricketer, will take place next month.