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IPL over but no timeout for sport

- PACKED CALENDAR OF EVENTS ENSURES THAT FANS ESCAPE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

The summer of 2014 is the perfect antidote to the withdrawal symptoms of IPL, ranging from restlessness to that terrible feeling of not having anything to wake up to.

Forget being bored, the sports buff seldom had it this good. If last Sunday saw a thriller of an IPL final, this Sunday will be the French Open finale and the Sunday after that will see Lionel Messi kick off Argentina’s Fifa World Cup campaign at the Maracana.

The sports fan won’t have time to call for even a strategic timeout in the middle of the World Cup because July will also see the business end of Wimbledon, followed by the first of five Tests between India and England in Old Blighty. Phew!

“This summer truly is a bonanza for any sports fan. I have seen KKR lift the IPL trophy and SRK dance with Mamata, and now there’s barely a week to go for the start of the biggest football event of them all,” Ragini Ghosh, a 27-year-old law student, said of her excitement at the prospect of non-stop sporting action.

“I remember waking up the morning after IPL had ended last year and instinctively thinking about the 8pm match, only to realise there was none. I usually immerse myself in football-transfer rumours during the lull after a Premiership season,” said the KKR and Chelsea loyalist.

Many of those whose television viewing comprises mostly sport feel restless at the end of a long event such as the IPL, a feeling that doctors and other experts describe as a withdrawal symptom. They say it is a milder version of the feeling that someone used to nicotine or alcohol might experience on suddenly kicking the habit.

According to psychiatrists, the term “withdrawal symptom” technically denotes the mental and sometimes physiological agony of someone who abruptly stops taking a drug that has the capability of producing physical dependence.

For those hooked on IPL, held over one-and-a-half months from April 16, a feeling of emptiness at the end of the tournament is a natural consequence of making a habit of tuning in to T20 every day.

“Withdrawal syndrome happens at the psychological as well as physiological levels in case of severity. Someone who had got into the habit of watching IPL games every day could feel sapped of energy and generally depressed once the event has ended,” said city-based psychiatrist Ranadip Ranjan Ghosh Roy. “In such moments, they can snap if they are given a chore.”

The symptoms are, of course, wide-ranging and doubly severe in case of addiction. They include sweating, goosebumps, vomiting, anxiety, insomnia and muscle pain.

“In my case, it is watching highlights of old matches and engaging in banter and arguments about club football,” quipped Sunny Lyngdoh, 27, who quit as a data analyst to start his food-kiosk chain and is rooting for England.

According to psychologist Mohormala Chatterjee, people live their unfulfilled dreams through sport. “The achievements of others give them a high and they become part of it.”

Thankfully, there is medically no such thing called “an overdose of sport”.

For some, the end of the country’s “most-watched” general elections had had the same effect as the IPL concluding. “The poll run-up was as interesting as an IPL thriller with a controversy here and a twist there on a daily basis!” said football fan Sunny.

As the attention shifts from Modi mania and Maxwell’s maximums to Messi’s magic, sports lovers are sure to be chanting “Acchey din aaney waale hain” or maybe “Ab ki baar, Neymar”!

What withdrawal symptoms do you experience at the end of a sports event? Tell ttmetro@abpmail.com