The Telegraph
Saturday , June 7 , 2014
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IPL over but no timeout for sport
- Packed schedule 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 fan. All the four IPL match mornings I woke up excited in anticipation of how Dhoni and his CSK boys would perform at the JSCA stadium in Dhurwa. And now, there’s barely a week to go for the start of the biggest football event,” beamed Ranchi resident Sunil Kispotta, adding that he would root for Brazil.

“I went to Ranchi to watch two matches — CSK against KKR and RCB. It was thrilling. But, the EQ (excitement quotient) would be more during World Cup soccer. It will compensate for my IPL withdrawal syndrome,” said Darshit Kumar, a Class X student of Kashidih High School, Jamshedpur.

Many people whose television viewing comprises mostly sports feel restless at the end of a long event such as the IPL, a feeling that doctors and 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 to 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 depending on the 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. However, people who get busy with work or are looking forward to the World Cup may overcome the syndrome soon,” said A.R. Singh, head of clinical psychology at Rinpas, Ranchi.

Agreed psychiatrist Deepak Giri of MGM Medical College and Hospital. “Withdrawal symptoms in case of sports normally don’t last for too long. Maybe, three to four days at most, especially when the calendar year promises more nail-biting moments,” he said.

For hardcore fans, the symptoms can be wide-ranging and severe in case of addiction. They include sweating, goosebumps, vomiting, insomnia and muscle pain. “In my case, it is watching IPL highlights and engaging in political debates with my better half,” said Tata Steel employee and Jamshedpur resident S.K. Jha.

According to experts, 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 a football fan.

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

Do you experience withdrawal symptoms after sports events? Tell