Four symptoms of suffering from cricket-related depression

Disillusionment with Sachin Tendulkar is the first sign that you are depressed © PTI

By Golandaaz


It is not easy being middle aged and a cricket fan in today’s day and age. More and more cricket fans in their 40s are being diagnosed by their physicians in the cricket-playing world to be suffering from a variant of clinical depression. 


Typically, these are men who have not modernised their cricketing likes to keep pace with… well modernity.


While researchers are still trying to understand the unique aspects of this cricket-related depression, there is consensus among medical experts that new drugs and treatments will be needed to manage, contain and eliminate this disease. 


We bring you a handy self diagnosis and self help aid. Use it to determine if you are among the millions the world over who have been diagnosed with cricket related depression and use our advice on how to learn to combat the illness. 


Here are the most common symptoms that may indicate onset of cricket related depression


1. You lose no opportunity to talk up Test cricket


You recently watched South Africa host Australia, Sri Lanka host England and lamented the two-Test series policy of the International Cricket Council (ICC), after both series ended 1-1. 


Last week you watched Australia beat the West Indies in a Test match and wanted to talk endlessly about the Michael Clarke’s declaration. 


You think every close Test match, even if it ends in a draw, is an “advertisement for Test cricket”. 


You complain endlessly about the incompetence of the ICC and their step-motherly treatment to Test cricket. 


You feel personally offended when Harsha Bhogle calls you a “romantic” and that you “don’t count”. You think the Indian Premier League (IPL) owes its success to the stars created by Test cricket. 


If you watch more Test cricket than contemporary cricket, it is very likely that your cricket- related depression is at an advanced stage.


Before you reduce yourself to nobody in the fan world of cricket, start watching the IPL as effective therapy. Initial side-effects will include nausea, vomiting, sudden and acute urges to smash the screen, inability to distinguish between matches and teams, wanting to keep track of the match number and wondering how long before the 76th match will be played, and in some cases jealousy, especially if you are an Englishman. However, if you stick with it long enough you will be amazed at your own mental ability to regress. In two-three weeks you will even be able to identify if the IPL game on TV is a live match or a recording and in four weeks you can tell that the match is a replay from last year’s IPL and not from IPL 2012, even when one of the teams in the match is not Kochi Tuskers from Kerala. In six weeks you will learn not to complain about Sachin Tendulkar’s strike rate.


2. You don’t think the IPL is cool


Indifference to IPL is also a leading indicator that you may eventually suffer from cricket- related depression. This condition is a little harder to self diagnose. So we have devised a simple test.


If a news story broke out tomorrow that the IPL matches are fixed, cricketers sleep with cheerleaders, marquee Test players hide injuries, Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle sleep with the IPL franchise owners and the IPL governing council members, what would your reaction be?


1. You would be aghast and quickly demand that these allegations be backed by concrete proof.


2. You are disappointed and hurt and largely believe that there can’t be smoke without any fire.


3. You are not surprised at all and do not care if these allegations are true or false.


If you answered 1, then you are perfect mental health to enjoy contemporary cricket. A response of 2 indicates an early onset of negative thinking which if not banished right away may create conditions in your mental make up conducive to depressive thoughts on cricket. A response of 3 indicates high probability of eventual onset of depression. Consider reading fairy tales before going to bed for six weeks to cure this condition and retake this quiz. Repeat endlessly till you answer 1.  


3. Sachin Tendulkar indifference


You have been a long time Tendulkar fan, without anyone telling to you to be one. Suddenly you find yourself questioning his decisions, non-decisions, his responses to the media. You no longer enjoy his batting. You start thinking that the team would be better off without him in it. You derived a perverse  pleasure to see the great man struggle to get to his 100th.  


Disillusionment with Tendulkar is the #1 sign that you are depressed. If left untreated, it may lead you to verbalise some of your feelings and as many patients have learned the hard way, that’s not socially accepted at all. You can drink yourself silly and call your girl friend, wife, etc a whore… that’s acceptable, but you get drunk and ask why Tendulkar has never bothered to go to the West Indies and seek a Test series win and you will be labeled ungrateful.


While there are no drugs or therapy to cure this symptom for effective management, follow this simple rules of thumb:


1.  Say whatever you wish about Tendulkar as long as it sounds right with a billion people in applause in the background. 


2.  Always talk in a tone of obeisance when talking about Tendulkar.


3. And remember there is no right way to ask questions of Tendulkar’s actions and words.


4. Harsha Bhogle’s columns infuriate you


Like many middle-aged men, you thought of Harsha Bhogle as a breath of fresh air, when he came onto the scene decades ago. You grew up reading his accounts of India’s tour of the West Indies in 1988. Growing up in Bombay, you chose to buy “The Afternoon” and forgo the “Mid-Day Mate” because “The Afternoon” carried Harsha. You thought Harsha made both Sanjay Manjrekar and Mohammed Azharuddin seem better than they actually were. However, more recently you read Harsha’s column and feel like going postal on him. You think of him as an IPL cheerleader, you think his views on Test cricket are compromised, you think of his columns as sermons on culture and business 101 targeted for 10-year olds. You think he throws in business sounding terms to impress strippers who pretend to read the Harvard Business Review to impress their clients. 


If you experience any one of these views on Harsha, then chances are you have been depressed for a long period and the illness may have become chronic. Thankfully for you, the remedy is simple. Just leave your brains behind if absolutely you must read his columns. Remember his columns are kind of like watching mainstream movies.


Cricket-related depression is a serious illness and the only cure is to change with time. 


Go, Indians (Mumbai)!