LONDON: The Cricket World Cup, due to start next week and last almost two months, could hit Britain's economic productivity by 270 million pounds, according to an independent study published on Saturday.
"Although it will not grab the international imagination to the same extent as the soccer World Cup it remains the case that, even to those only half interested, watching cricket is one of the best ways of avoiding working known to man," said the study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).
"Two of England's matches, against New Zealand on 16 March and against Pakistan on 30 March, are on Friday afternoons and will be very tempting to those who feel inclined to stay on in the pub after lunch," said CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams, the report's author.
McWilliams said his independent consultancy estimates a loss of about 5.0 percent of a day's gross domestic product for each day of the World Cup.
"This would cost the economy about 270 million pounds gross, just enough to be noticed in some of the monthly economic figures. England will also play Kenya on Saturday 24 March and the West Indies on Saturday 21 April, which could affect shopping," McWilliams said.
He added that most of the lost productivity would, however, likely be made up before the end of 2007. Meanwhile, people watching on big screens in clubs and pubs could spend an additional 20 million pounds for each match and there would be some additional spending on advertising and promotions associated with the competition, the CEBR said.
"England are by no means the favorites to win given their one day international performance in recent years. The estimates above therefore assume that England fail to make the finals," the report concluded.
"But, of course, if they do get to the final in Barbados on Saturday 28 April, we would need to do some further calculations. If they do so, it should be a further boost to clubs and pubs and a hit on Saturday afternoon shopping."