TIME TO REJUVENATE ECONOMY

ANISUDDIN KHAN
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)
Feb 21 - 27, 20
11

One does not have to plunge deep into time to judge the veracity of the above headline, just look at your neighbourhood New Delhi where India organized the Commonwealth Games about five months ago.

Through that fortnight sports extravaganza attended by over fifty countries of the British Commonwealth, India proved it could stand in the ranks of advanced countries. The games delivered huge financial bonanza to that nation. It was because of the games that Indian invested to create a suburban Metro rail transport system which was as good as in Japan. It was time for India to exploit the opportunity to its financial advantage.

In modern times mega sporting events like Olympics, Winter games, Football world cup, Asian, Games, African and Pan American games are used by the host countries to its financial benefit besides advancing country's image in the eyes of the world community.

When Caribbean countries played host to cricket World Cup four years ago, it was estimated that the countries of the region stood to earn minimum of USD600 million and at the same time would introduce those countries to those areas of the globe where no one had ever heard their names. It was single largest event in the history of the Caribbean and would boost tourism to an all-time high.

The cup preparation forced the West Indies Board to set up eight new stadiums, which would remain in use for the next thirty years. A total of US$250 million were spent to build new stadiums. It provided excellent marketing opportunities to local tourism industry.

One of the best examples of what miracle mega events could do to the region and the country was FIFA 2002 Cup jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea. Both the economies were ailing, and had relied on the tournament to help revive it and increase their global stature.

It yielded USD260 million profit to the football world body which was distributed around the world to the needy poor nations. When Germany hosted the Fifa world cup sixteen years ago, it boosted its national economy and generated thousands of jobs which further warmed up the economy.

These are just a few of a number of examples where mega sporting events had helped sick economies and countries looking for enhancing their national stature.

World Cup 2011 would have positive impact on the economy of Bangladesh which is hosting one of its biggest sporting events. The Bangladeshi organizers have already hoping that they would be able to establish new places as tourist destinations. They are expecting many investors from around the globe during the event.

Bangladeshi cricket managers are encouraging Bangladeshi TV channels to show the country's potentialities. They are hoping to rope in giant companies like Adidas, Nike, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Emirates, who could sponsor Bangladesh cricket officially in future that would anyway impact the Bangladesh economy in a very constructive way.

Economists believe a successful completion of WC would have positive effect on revenue generation, infrastructure legacy, and, in the longer term, on tourism and economic activity through media spotlight and return visits.

Bangladesh has issued 10,000 silver coins to mark the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Of the 10,000 coins 25 will be gifted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) for conducting tosses in the matches.

The ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy became a running trophy in 1999, designed by an English company Garrard & Co. The original trophy is kept with the ICC at headquarters now in Dubai and the team winning it is given a replica.

The winning team of the 2011 Cricket World Cup would get prize money of US$3 million and the runners up US$ 1.5 million for runner-up.

Team finishing up to top eight will share USD7.48 million of the total prize money. Net profits from the Cup will be given to its member associations.

The World Cup was to be co-hosted by Pakistan too, but after 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan was stripped of its hosting rights. Pakistan was to hold 14 matches including one semi-final. Now eight of Pakistan's matches were awarded to India, four to Sri Lanka and two to Bangladesh. It was reported PCB will lose close to $10.5 million that includes match-fee of $750,000 per match guaranteed by the ICC. The overall loss to the PCB and the Pakistani economy is expected to be much greater.

International insurance companies are making a windfall on Indian soil. Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken a personal accident policy worth $500,000 per player who is a part of national team that will play in the ICC 2011 World Cup.

BCCI has also taken another insurance policy to the tune of Rs130 crore, which will shield it from financial losses in the event of a match being affected by bad weather. Each player can expect a financial benefit of up to Rs2.3 crore under this policy.

"The minimum and maximum benefit derived under this policy ranges from Rs2.5 crore to Rs15 crore. However, there is downside of the Cricket World Cup 2011 in India. The corporate sector feels at least 10-12 million people will watch the match resulting in a productivity loss of 768 million man hours," it said. Workplace productivity in India is expected to drop as several matches are scheduled during office hours and absenteeism is likely to go up after the post-match celebrations or lack of sleep.