Top 10 Popular Sports in India

With a huge population, India is the home of many passions and artists. So in India, there are countless sports and games including local and state level, but we are here to talk about the top 10 popular sports in India. Many sports are even not known by more than a state or a community in India where few sports are not popular in India but also a huge fan from worldwide.


top 10 sports in india

Content list
Top 10sports of India 2021
1. Cricket
2. Football
3. Kabaddi
4. Badminton
5. Tennis
6. Hockey
7. Wrestling
8. Chess
9. Motorsports
10.Basketball

We will talk later about those local sports and games because in this post we will see the top 10 sports in India. For some decades sports were not enough honorable and popular in India but now this time sports career is one of the most popular and honorable careers that are the dream of many Youth Indian.  

India is considered one of the best countries in the field of sports and games, India won many titles, prizes, and international cups. Some players of India have a huge number of fans worldwide. Many sportsmen and athletes from India made many world records that are awesome and unbelievable.

If you talk about the most popular sports in India, without any doubt, of course, it is cricket with a huge Indian fan base of 800 Million and if you talk cricket at the International level, it is the second most popular sports in the world with total 2.5 Billion fans after Football (having 3.5 Billion worldwide fans).

In India, the hype generated by cricket almost every time overshadows the state of many sports and most of the sports clubs or institutions are usually run under the shadow of cricket clubs of India.

Sports in India

While cricket could have been a national game of India, but it is not. Whether you will say it fortune or unfortunate but hockey is the national sport of India. If you talk about the hockey career of India at the International level you will find that India had a great role in Hockey and won many titles and cups in history. The name “Dhayan Chand” was very even you can say the most famous name in the history of Hockey, He is also known as the “God of Hockey”. He made many International records by winning the Olympic gold medals of 1928, 1932, 1936. He was the Hockey player who won the three consecutive Olympic gold medals.

But by seeing the popularity of Cricket, Except Indian, No one can assume that cricket is not the National sports of India but the popularity of games can not be decided which one is best for national sports.

But it is not similar in all games. We have a country like Iceland with a small population of 330,000 which is less than the total population of a small industrial town in Punjab (having a total of 850,000 populations), which can easily qualify for the tournament for the FIFA World Cup. So a small country that has less than a town population of India can send its Team to the WORLD Cup, surely then India having 1.38 billion populations can send his team to this simple FIFA World cup Tournament.

But the reality is different or you can just say the opposite, for our kind Information India has never managed to qualify for the World Cup. So don’t talk about the winner of the FIFA World Cup even qualifying for its tournament is seems impossible for the Indians Players. So here a question arises that what is the reason behind this.

The answer seemingly lies in the latter. When a right and good training and focus were given to the many players of India have got Gold medals from the Olympics. Since 2004 India has always managed to get at least one gold medal in every Olympics. Indians show their strength in many sports like badminton, boxing, wrestling, shooting, and archery.

So we can say that if good and proper training are given to the Indian player, they can qualify for the tournament of FIFA World cup. But it is also right that in some country’s training made the Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohali, and Dayan Chand who made many records in the history of international sports. So it will be fair to blame only the training community.

Top 10 Popular Sports in India

Now this time is to move to the list of Indian most popular sports, but before going to the list please remember I am not a professional sportsman or neither I am from a sports family and these sports have been ranked based on their popularity in India and this list are not deciding the best sports or games in India.

This list doesn’t suggest any person or a targeted community make this list of top 10 sports in India. We are talking about all population of India which is about 1.38 billion.

Cricket might dominate the headlines of sports news but many sports have a decent follower over India. Yeah, this is also true that there is no parallel comparison of cricket with any sports in India.

 

The top 10 popular sports in India are-

1. Cricket


top 10 sports in india

The popularity of cricket in India is unparalleled compared to interest generated by a particular sport in any other country. Cricket is a more popular sport in India than Football in Brazil and Argentina. The reason behind the popularity of cricket in India is: Cricket matches being regularly telecasted and promoted by premier sporting channels. Cricketers of India are generally can be seen in many advertising posts and videos and also in the posters on the road of India.

From The world cup in 1983 to the Champions Trophy in 2017, India has won many top prizes in International cricket. In the last few decades, India has given some of the best cricketers that the world has seen before this like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, MS Dhoni any many more Indian cricketers.

At this present time, Virat Kohli is leading the Indian cricketing Team. Everyone can expect a good future for Indian cricket. So without any doubt, Cricket is the most popular sport in the list of Top 10 popular sports In India. With every passing generation, the future of cricket in India is gradually increasing. 

2. Football


top 10 sports in india

The most popular sport of the World, Football remains the second most popular sport in the world. The sport Football is also known as the “sleeping giant” in India. This name was given by The former FIFA president “Sepp Blatter”. Despite having the world’s fourth-largest ISL, India has never get qualify in the tournament for FIFA World Cup.

The current position of the Indian Football Team in the world is Rank No. 105. If you compare India’s population with other countries that have qualified for World Cup in a few past years or decades, you will get embarrassed and sadly result. But despite this, the popularity of Football in India remains gradually increase day by day.

India has its football league named the Indian Soccer League or Indian Super League (ISL). The tournament of 2014 was its first tournament has recorded a viewership of nearly 160 million.

3. Kabaddi


top 10 sports in india

While different sports in India like badminton and hockey would have nabbed, Kabbadi has returned to his back position and become India’s third most popular sport in India. Recently Kabbadi has got the headlines of many newspapers that gave more attention and popularity to the Kabbadi.

Amongst the traditional sports of India, Kabbadi has returned to the center stage of Indian sports with the rise of the Pro Kabbadi League which is held annually across various small and big cities of India. PKL (Pro Kabbadi League) become India’s second most popular league after the IPL (Indian Premier League) in 2014.

Bypassing time Kabbadi has started to get more and more sponsors in cities as well as in small villages that gave many super Kabbadi player that ever world seen before.

 

4. Badminton


top 10 sports in india

After Kabaddi, Badminton is India’s fourth most popular sport. For the last some decades, Badminton has always been a sport of great interest in the world, which brought it to the International stage.

Before some decades badminton was not enough popular in India, but after  picking up a bronze medal in the Olympics of 2012 by Saina Nehwal, Badminton started to get more and more popularity of the players and public of India.

After this achievement of Saina Nehwal, Many players have started to play Badminton as a profession because now it was believed that From India if a girl can win an Olympic Bronze medal then why can’t win the Gold medal in Olympic and then India won 19 medals at Commonwealth Games and 8 medals at the Asian Games, in which It was 7 medals at the World Championships of BWF.

It was Saina Nehwal who won the first medal (Bronze) in the individual women’s competition for India at the Olympic game (held in 2012 in London)

and after that in the next Olympics of 2016 (which was held in Rio), Pusarla won the first silver medal for India in women’s singles.

5. Tennis


top 10 sports in india

One of the most popular sports in the world, tennis has also a huge number of fans in India that made tennis India’s fifth most popular sport. Yeah, of course, we haven’t a large success in singles format but India has been traditionally known for playing tennis in a doubles format. There are several Grand Slam doubles titles in name of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

However, after the retirement of Bhupathi and Paes’ aging with every coming year, it seems that India is facing a shortage of talented and experienced players who can again bring that golden das for the Indian tennis team. But there is still some experienced professional player who is representing India as a good tennis team on the ATP team. Currently, Rohan Bopanna and Saina mirza is two highlight player of Indian Tennis Team.

To Increase the viewership of tennis in India, Mahesh Bhupathi inspired by the success of IPL in India launched an International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in 2014 which has included four teams named Indian Aces, Japan Warriors, Singapore Slammers, and UAE Royals.

In 1996 Leander Paes won the first individual Olympic medal for India at Atlanta Olympics. Indian Tennis athletes have won a total of 28 medals at the Summer Games.

6. Hockey


top 10 sports in india

The national sports of India, Hockey is still trying to find those days when Hockey the national sports of India, the day when Dhayan Chand used to win the gold medals in Olympic and many International tournaments, and the days when India was famous for its hockey players. 

Some changes in rules in International Hockey including the introduction of an artificial playing turf becomes a sin for Indian Hockey players because India uses to play in natural grasstops and become ban for Indian players to play in regular grass tops. To solve this problem, Indian hockey players started to infight in the hockey Federation that led to the gradual decline of Indian Hockey in India, but still, now the love for hockey is alive in many Indian’s hearts and this is why Hockey is still the national sport of India.

From 1928 to 1956, it was the golden age for the Indian Hockey team. The men’s team of Indian Hockey remained unbeaten in the Olympics (won six gold medals in a row). The Indian hockey team has won a total of 8 gold and 1 silver and 2 bronze medals in the Olympics and all these are the reason behind keeping Hockey as India’s 6th most popular sport in India.

7. Wrestling


top 10 sports in india

Wrestling is India’s seventh most popular sport, in India Wrestling, is generally known as “akhadda” in which two people or two groups of few peoples fight with the help of their arms by following some rules of that game. This game is also very popular in villages or rural areas. The headman of villages conduct tournament at every year and the winner gets some prizes.

Sports Wrestling got more popularity with Indian movies which is inspired by a wrestler. The Indian films like “Sultan” of 2016 and “Dangal” of 2016 worked as the accelerator for the popularity of wrestling in India. These types of movies play a great role in educating people about the importance and benefits of sports.

Recently, Indian grapplers have made a strong impression on the international stage by creating the record of winning at least a medal in every Olympics year since the 2008 Beijing Games. The movie ‘Dangal’ was based on the real-life story of a woman wrestler and her journey of winning a gold medal at a major international event.

8. Chess

top 10 sports in india


Chess is one of the most popular sports in India because people of India believe that chess is a mental game that is more beneficial for the coming generation. Many Indian movies inspire people towards playing the brain games like chess. Now, these days India has many good chess players.

For some decades the popularity of chess in India gradually increases especially from In the last two decades chess in India suddenly get a high jump due to chess grandmaster and former World Champion “Viswanathan Anand”. He has considered the Indian chess hero his achievement in the chess world inspired the whole generation of young Indians to take chess as professional sports.

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) is governing the whole team of Indian chess, players like Harikrishna Pentala and Vidit Santosh has recently got a pretty good position in the FIDE ranking of 2020.

9. Motors Sports


top 10 sports in india


For the last 10 years, motorsports have gained a lot of popularity in India that brought this game to the list of most popular sports in India. Formula One, in particular, has taken off in the country in the year 20000 with two competing Indian drivers.

India is a country that has its own Formula One team known as the name of “Force India Formula One Team Limited” which is founded and managed by a wealthy Indian businessman Vijay Mallya. This team competed in Formula One for ten consecutive 10 years (From 2008 to 2018). Motorsports in the country India is officially governed by the Federation of Motors Sports Clubs of India.

In February 2005, Narain Karthikeyan became the first Formula One racing driver of India. After two years in 2007, he also became the first Indian born driver who competed in a NASCAR Series.

10. Basketball


top 10 sports in india

World’s 8th a most popular sport with 500 million fans from worldwide, Basketball is also India’s 10th most popular in India. Basketball is played regularly in schools and colleges, but there is a lack of experienced professional players in the Indian Basketball Team.

The past few years are very crucial for the Indian Basketball Team because there is sort of success in the Indian Team but the Indian Women’s Basketball Team got qualified for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in Division A and this is the first time when Indian Basketball Team got such great achievement in their career.

In 2015 by an NBA Team (Dallas Mavericks), Satnam Singh became the first player of India to be drifted.

I hope you will have enjoyed the list.

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