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Homesick techies bat for India on World Cup’s backstage

football Updated: Jun 21, 2010 01:18 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
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Overhearing snatches of conversation that seemed like an Indian language outside the media cafeteria here stirred an Indian journalist’s curiosity.

N Raghu Rama Sharma and G Prasad were indeed from the world’s largest democracy but had nothing to do with the large media contingent here from India for the 2010 finals.

Both are engineers with Indian major Mahindra Satyam, the official IT services provider for the finals and, according to the company’s website, the first Indian company to do so.

The website says the company has developed the “core IT event management system for FIFA and the local organising committee in South Africa.”

Apart from extranet, intranet and helpdesk services, the company, the website said, also developed software modules focusing on specific areas such as accreditation, transportation, volunteer management and space and material management.

Sharma and Prasad said they are part of a team of six stationed here since last April and belong to a workforce of 200 spread over 10 venues and the office at Sandton in Johannesburg.

Both are from Andhra Pradesh. Sharma is from Kakinada while Prasad belongs to Tirupati.

Both saw snatches of matches at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium here and are a little homesick. Alleviating that somewhat was India’s win over Pakistan in the Asia Cup on Saturday.

“Harbhajan hit the match-winner off the match’s second-last ball,” Prasad said.

During the last World Cup, reports of a group of Indian engineering students playing cricket at Doesner Weg in Leipzig on the day France played South Korea drew media attention.

As they say, you can take an Indian away from cricket but you can’t take cricket away from him.