India is a diverse culture with people with different opinions on anything, including sports. The number of followers and income defines a sport’s popularity. With 1.3 billion people, the country has different fans for different sports.
The Sports that Rank top in India
Sports are significant to any culture, including India, and the players’ skills or achievements do not rank the sport’s popularity. They played many sports in India, but below is a list of the most popular games, starting with the highest in ranking to the least popular. The sports include:
Cricket has the most significant number of fans, making it the most popular sport in India, drawing 93% of the Indian population. The cricket game goes beyond fanaticism since you will find many Indians planning their weekend activities according to the India cricket game schedule. Some say cricket is like religion to Indians, and it’s played everywhere.
You cannot mention Indian sport and not mention cricket, and from their enthusiast, India has the best international cricket players.
Indians will go the extra mile to show their love for this sport. Wagers bet heavily on websites for cricket betting to support the cricket tournaments and crickets’ clubs, making the sport the leading in revenue.
Although you won’t hear much of Indian football globally, it’s the second most famous game. India’s national football team got ranked 96th in the FIFA rankings, which is shameful compared to the Indian population.
Football gained popularity after India organized the FIFA-U17 world cup in 2017, placing it the second most-watched game. The support from Bollywood stars like Ranveer Singh and the media coverage to live football tournaments has played a significant role in adding popularity with over 155 million followers. Years ago, you couldn’t have found football streaming on Indian main televisions.
Hockey is the pride of India in the Olympics, and its men’s team does exceedingly well. The Indian national team has won 8 gold medals, one silver and two bronze medals being the top team globally. Since their first medal in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur, it has been a win after a win up to the 2018 Asian games where the women’s team brought home a silver medal while the men’s team walked away with the bronze medal.
The fans are growing by the day because of famous cricketers in India, causing the young generation to love cricketers’ lavish lifestyle. The media have also played a significant role in popularizing the game by airing the tournaments on television.
From cricket, badminton follows closely in Indian sports rank. The badminton association of India manages the game, and the sport has achieved brilliant success on the international platform. The Indian player Saina Nehwal became the 2nd world player. Her no.1 ranking back in 2015 increased followers by a significant percentage.
Badminton’s popularity is increasing, and many urban kids have opted to play badminton. Since its embrace with open arms, Indians are hopeful for new international talents that will carry the Indian flag in international tournaments.
India has done well on doubles category tennis, and it’s a sport that adds several fans tremendously. Having the likes of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna makes Indian youth go crazy about the game. National players like Leander Paes and his teammate Mahesh Bhupathi have significantly influenced this sport’s popularity.
India has taken part in international tennis tournaments that have made a mark on the global tennis platform. Despite having talented players, the media cannot be overlooked. Years ago, there was an unreliable broadcaster, but currently, India has ten sports channels, and they can show tennis games live all the time, unlike in the 1980s when they could watch tennis four times a year.
For the past two decades, chess popularity has risen by a considerable percentage because of chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, a world champion. He won the heart of many Indians with his heroic skills. Viswanathan motivated many youngsters who wanted to be like him, adding to the number of sports followers.
FIDE 2020 ranking of Indian chess players Harikrishna Pentala and Vidit Santosh motivated most young players, making the sport more famous by the day.
Indian sports has taken a new turn, and other sports are growing in popularity, and although crickets take the lead, there is room for followers in other sports too, like football and cricket, among others. However, the country does not do well internationally compared to other countries in sports like football. You still find soccer the second-loved sport.