The cricket fever is sweeping across twin cities and has reached its zenith. In its wake, it has left nobody untouched. The first ever India-Pakistan semi final in the ICC Cricket World Cup-2011 has created an atmosphere of revelry, raised sky-high expectations, has made people from all walks of life tense and anxious. Wednesday, surely, is going to be a truncated day for one and all.

The software companies have led the way and have made it official. “Start the work early and close shop early,” is the mantra for techies.

A majority have tinkered with their usual shifts and asked employees to report at 7 a.m. and finish work by 2 p.m. and then catch the match.

LCD screens

For those who have to deliver projects on Wednesday due to deadlines, large LCD screens have been set up in cafeterias and outside offices. Food and ‘drinks' are being served free and employees are allowed to wear the Indian jersey, shorts and tees. Software companies in Hyderabad like IBM, Infosys and IT wing of Deloitte have effected a ‘change' in the shifts for Wednesday. The employees have been asked to report by 6 a.m. and finish their work by 2 p.m. before catching up with the match.

Companies like Uninor, Pegasystems and ADP Pvt. Ltd have made special arrangements including installation of large LCD screens to screen the match and are offering unlimited food and beverages to employees. “For those who have to meet deadlines, we are showing the match in cafetarias. We have put up large screen at our offices. We have even organised intra-company cricket matches,” said Chief People's Officer, Mahindra Satyam, T. Hari.

Fun destinations

Needless to say, the capital is brimming with scores of destinations for fans to watch the cricket match on a large screen and have fun with friends.

City pubs, convention centres, clubs and recreational hotspots have left no stone unturned to make a big splash on the D-day.

Seasoned pub crawlers will have a field day, as all pubs and restaurants worth their salt are beaming the cricket match live and serving cricket-based menus to fans. Many of them are expecting to do business anywhere between Rs. 5 to 6 lakh on Wednesday.

Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) is screening the match on a huge screen at GMC Balayogi Stadium, Gachibowli. The entry, however, is by passes. Pubs like Xtreme Sports Bar, Banjara hills, Bottles and Chimneys, Firangi Paani, Lounge and convention centres like N Convention at Madhapur have come up with special packages for fans to watch the cricket match.

Country Club has put up a huge screen for its customers on the match day. Ista Hotel has arranged for the live screening of the match and designed menu and beverages for World Cup. “Admission ticket for one person is Rs. 1,600 that includes unlimited food and drinks throughout the match,” officials at N Convention said.

World Cup car

To spice up the proceedings, noted car designer K. Sudhakar of Sudha Cars has built a car resembling the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 trophy. The Guinness world record holder presented the unique car and promised to take the car around the city if India manages to beat Pakistan in the semi-final.

The World Cup car is a single-seater moving on three wheels and powered by a 150 CC engine. The car has a diameter of 6 feet and stands at 11 feet.

“The unique aspect of the car is that we conceptualised and built it in just 36 hours. We scavenged through the junk yards and picked up stuff from there and built this car out of scrap. We are doing this to wish the Indian team well in the semi-finals,” he said.

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