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The damage before the Ind-Pak match running into millions

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Indian offices
Mumbai, Mar 30: The first ball has not been bowled neither has the first run been made, but the damage has been done already. With India Inc almost coming to a stand still to catch the action ahead of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan World Cup semi-final match at Mohali, the situation is no different in Pakistan with the government declaring a half-day holiday there.

There is a considerable hit in revenue and productivity in the month of March due to the Cricket World Cup that has engulfed the pysche of the cricketing fanatics of both India and Pakistan. It might come as no surprise that Indians working outside the sub continent might also see a drop in interest to resume normal work duties due to the euphoria surrounding the game.

But, as a developing nation are we ready for such an extravagance. With the sub continent reeling under the cricket fever, working professionals seem to be taking it easy and playing to the hype surrounding the game.

A recent ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) survey gives teeth to the argument and says, “India Inc may register a significant drop in productivity during the month of February-March 2011 as one in five employees plans to take time off or reduce working hours to watch the ICC World Cup."

The survey also added that the World Cup fever could lead to loss of millions of man-hours affecting productivity. It also states that at least 10-12 million people will watch the match that will in turn lead to a productivity loss of 768 million man hours (12 million x 8 hours x 8 matches). The survey says, "The actual level of absenteeism is likely to be even higher, due to post-match celebrations or lack of sleep, as fans stay up late to watch the games."

For a cricket-crazy nation, some impact was expected but if the millions in losses is something that India is ready to face is a larger question that needs to be answered. 20% of respondents of the survey indicated the intention to take time off work, with more than a half saying that they would work for lesser hours throughout the month. The rest of the respondents suggested that they were ready to take off from work even if it meant taking a cut from their annual leave and even call in sick.

With cricket being played out not as a game, but as a diplomacy exercise between two countries, the stakes are high with emotion, 'vengeance' reigning supreme. With Sachin, Yuvraj and Sehwag stealing the limelight and millions of public praying for their demigods, its time that India should look at the game in the right spirit.

Also, the fact needs to be highlighted that life moves on post the World Cup. Are we listening?

OneIndia News

Read more about: cricket world cup 2011
Story first published: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 9:30 [IST]
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