15 Most Popular Sports in India

2 years ago

Sports have been very popular in the people of India. They idealise the exceptional players, learn from them and subsequently try to excel in the field of sports. Sports is an excellent career option as well, reason being the people associated with it have the privilege to remain healthy and fit, along with earning lots of money. So here we look upon 15 most popular sports in India.

1.Cricket

A list of famous sports is being discussed; then this sport is the utmost necessary item on the list. Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) is the governing body for cricket in India. The popularity of cricket in India started to rise in 1983, when the Indian Cricket team won the Cricket World cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev, although they were considered underdogs at that time. The year of 2008 is a milestone for the popularity of Indian cricket, as Indian Premier League (IPL) was incepted in it. Since then, its demand is rising exponentially.Indian cricket team has won in all formats of Cricket – T-20 World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy. Players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni are the stalwarts of the field. Sachin Tendulkar has also been conferred with Bharat Ratna – the highest civilian 

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
Cricket Image Source : Google (sport in India | Most popular sport in India)

2. Badminton

Badminton is considered to be the second most played sport in India. Badminton Association of India is the official body for badminton in India. The reason for the popularity of this sport in India is less no. of equipment and players needed to play the game. India has produced many famous players, which include the likes of Prakash Padukone, Pulela Gopichand, P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, K. Shrikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India| Badminton, Image Source : Google

3. Kabaddi

Kabaddi is undoubtedly one of the most popular sports present in India. It is also believed to have originated in India. Indian people are very fond of this contact sport. Amar, Suranjeevi, huttuttoo, and Gaminee are the four forms of kabaddi played in India. The dominance of the Indian National team is evident from the fact that the Men’s team has won all 3 World Cups organised till date, 7 Gold medals in Asian Games. The Women’s National Kabaddi team has also won 2 Gold medals in Asian Games. In 2014, Pro Kabaddi League was started in India to promote kabaddi.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India| Kabaddi, Image Source : Google

4. Wrestling

Wrestling has been a very famous sport in India, especially in the rural region. It is better known as ‘Kushti or Pehlwani’ in India. The culture of wrestling in India includes the ‘Akhara’ which is the place where it is practised. India has won medals in different styles of wrestling in various tournaments ranging from Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships. The famous Indians in this sport are Dara Singh, K.D. Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Geeta Phogat, Yogeshwar Dutt.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India| Wrestling, Image Source: Google

5. Hockey

Field hockey is considered an unofficial National Sport of India. This sport has been very famous in India for a long time and India has given many legends to this game. Major Dhyanchand is often considered as the greatest player of all times in field hockey. In the Olympics in Hockey, India has won 8 gold medals. A league called Premier Hockey League started in India like the IPL.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Hockey| Image Source: Google

6. Football

This sport has a substantial fanbase among the youth of the country. India currently ranks 108 in FIFA rankings. Players like Baichung Bhutia and Sunil Chetri have excelled in the sport and also done promotional activities for football in India. Indian Super League (ISL) was started in India on the lines of IPL.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Football | Image Source: Google

7. Tennis

Tennis is mostly played in the urban parts of the country and is generally referred to as the game of elites. Though,it is very popular in India. The Indian Tennis has been served by several great players, including Leander Paes(Olympics Bronze medalist and 18 Grand Slam titles including both Doubles and Mixed Doubles categories), Sania Mirza(6 Grand Slam titles), Mahesh Bhupati, Vijay Amritraj.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Tennis | Image Source: Google

8. Basketball

Basketball is a very popular sport in most of the high schools, colleges, and universities of India. This is rather a popular sport amongst the youth. Basketball Federation of India is the governing body. India has one of Asia’s longest basketball traditions, being a founding member of FIBA in 1936. Satnam Singh and Prashasti Singh are famous Indian players.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Basketball | Image Source : Google

9. Boxing

A big reason for the popularity of Boxing in India is MC Marykom, who has won 6 World Championships, Bronze in Olympics, Gold in Asian and Commonwealth games. Taking inspiration from her, many sportspersons have emerged in this sport. Vijender Singh, Akhil Kumar, Sarita Devi are the other famous players of the sport.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Boxing | Image Source: Google

10. Chess

This indigenous game has also got immense popularity in India. This is because a lot of mind work is involved while playing the game. Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand got fame after becoming a grand master in the game. Undoubtedly, youngsters and teenagers are taking an interest in this game because of this man who has gained an excellent reputation in the world. The All-India Chess Federation is the official body for it.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | chess | Image Source: Google

11. Table Tennis

This is actually the fastest racquet game in the world. It is popular among youth as it improves the reaction time of a person. It is played in various categories like cadet, sub-junior, junior, senior. Some of the famous international Indian players in this sport are Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Table Tennis | Image Source: Google

12. Shooting

This is also a very popular sport in India. Abhinav Bindra won the first individual gold medal for India in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the discipline of Rifle shooting. Other Olympics medalists include Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Gagan Narang, and Vijay Kumar. Recently International Female veteran shooters named Chandro Tomar and Prakashi Tomar came to the limelight, who have inspired many other people to play this sport.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Shooting | Image Source: Google

13. Athletics

This includes various individual sports, such as Long Jump, High Jump, Javelin Throw, Hammer Throw, 100 metre race, Hurdles, Relay races etc. The popularity of Athletics is massive at the school/university. Some athletes which are famous in the public domain are Milkha Singh, Anju Bobby George, P.T. Usha, Hima Das etc.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Athletics | Image Source: Google

14. Volleyball

It is a popular recreation sport in urban as well as rural India. In 2013, India was ranked 27th in the World and 5th in Asia. In the 2003 World Youth Championship, India secured the 2nd position. Volleyball Federation of India in the governing body. Pro Volleyball League (like IPL) was started in India to promote the sport more in the country.

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Volley ball | Image Source : Google

15. Squash

It is a recreational sport, which is popular in India. Squash Rackets Federation of India governs the sport in India. Famous players are Dipika Pallikal Karthik (achieved top 10 World ranking in 2012), Joshna Chinnappa and Saurav Ghosal. 

sport in India | Most popular sport in India
sport in India | Most popular sport in India | Squash | Image Source : Google

There are also a lot of other popular sports in India which are played officially and unofficially like Kho-kho, kite flying, gymnastics etc. The culture of sports is outstanding in India, and we should preserve it. Promotion of sports will lead to various other benefits like people can remain fit while earning money, if they play it professionally. 

Suyash Ranjan

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