Sports in India

India has a great sports tradition which is greatly influenced by the presence of the British in the 18th and 19th century. It is undoubted that cricket is the most popular sports in India, however, in such a populous country, there are many other sports which are played by a lot of people.

India is one of the largest countries in the world when it comes to both the area and the population. India is also one of the few countries having retained their indigenous games’ popularity among their people. There are some Indian games like kabaddi, gilli-danda, kho kho, and pehlwani. India is also the country where some oldest forms of martial arts originated, for example, silambam, kalerippayattu, marma adi, as well as musti yuddha. Moreover, India has a few popular board games like the chaturanga, which is believed to be the origin of modern chess. This is further reinforced with a large number of chess grandmasters from this country.

Meanwhile, many modern games have also taken over India and cricket is the most popular. India has hosted several sporting events like the Asian Games (in 1951, 1982), Cricket World Cup (in 1987, 1996, 2011), Hockey World Cup, Commonwealth Games (in 2010).

India has taken part in the Olympic Games since the year 1900 and won an Olympic medal when Norma Pritchard gained two silver medals in athletics. Then, the country skipped some Olympic Games and returned in 1920.

Below are details of sports and sporting events, and athletes related to India.

Popular Sports of India

Cricket, Football (Soccer), Field Hockey, Tennis, Badminton, Track and Field (Athletics), Kabaddi, Chess.

Sporting Success of India

  • Won the ICC Cricket World Cup (1983 and 2011)
  • Won T20 World Cup (2007)
  • Won ICC Champions Trophy (2002, 2013)

Athletes from India

  • Sachin Tendulkar (cricket)
  • Major Dhyan Chand (hockey)
  • Virat Kohli (cricket)
  • Jyotirmoyee Sikdar (athletics – 800m)
  • Anju Bobby George (athletics – long jump)
  • Norman Pritchard
  • Milkha Singh
  • C. Yohannan
  • T. Usha
  • Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati (tennis)
  • Mary Kom – one of the greatest female boxers of all time.