Sport is an essential part of Indian culture. The country boasts a rich sports history as sports are engrained in Indian tradition, finance, and entertainment. People in India keenly follow several sports and participate in some. For example, cricket is the most loved spectator sport in the country, and Indians also enjoy it as a recreational activity.
But football has recently emerged as a popular sport in the country. The Indian Premier League matches attract audiences that fill stadiums and massive viewership on TV. Other sports that have grown into the mainstream include kabaddi, tennis, badminton, and athletics.
This love for sports has also seen a growing interest in sports betting. Consequently, there is a rise in sites such as https://byindia.com/ that offer sports news and betting tips in India to cater to the rising appetite for sports content. Such platforms also help to shape the citizens’ view of sports.
In the past few decades, the Indian government and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports have attempted to boost the country’s sports industry. For example, they organize new national sports events like Khelo India University Games (KIUG), Khelo India Winter Games, and Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG).
The government initiative is also keen to build new sports infrastructure. So far, the Indian government has organized various editions of the Khelo games.
Does India Have a National Game?
The diversity of India’s culture, people, and tribes is reflected in the country’s wide range of sporting disciplines. Consequently, some indigenous sports are more prevalent in certain regions. For example, sports like motorsport, basketball, and mixed martial arts are popular in a few places.
Cricket became very popular in India after they won the 1983 World Cup. After that, India became a cricket powerhouse that dominated global cricket tournaments. Be that as it may, it is still not regarded as a national game.
Kabaddi is the indigenous sport experiencing the fastest growth in the country. It also generates significant television viewership. The sport has also become popular in international tournaments such as Asian Games, South Asian Games, and Asian Kabaddi Championship.
The country has several domestic professional commercial sports leagues, such as the Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, Women’s IPL, and I-League (all of these are football leagues). Other leagues include:
- Pro Kabbadi – Kabbadi
- Prime Volleyball League – Volleyball
- Hockey India League – Field hockey
- Ultimate Kho Kho league – Kho-kho
- Ultimate Tennis League – Table tennis
The sports industry has helped uniquely shape Indian culture. For instance, while India embraced some British sports during the colonial period, the country still believes strongly in its indigenous sports. As the government continues to invest in native sports, it will help to celebrate the Indian culture more. Additionally, their participation in more global games like football and cricket helps India to be part of the international community.