Why are sports other than Cricket not popular in India?

 Sports other than cricket not popular in India
Padhoge Likhoge toh banoge nawaab, Kheloge koodoge toh hoge kharaab
A saying us Indians have regularly heard throughout our school life. It roughly translates to ‘if you study you, will become a good, earning, respected individual but if you play and enjoy yourself, you will amount to nothing’. In this article, we are going to answer this burning question.

Basic reason for sports not being popular

The basic reason for which sports are not popular in India is that the age at which a kid should start learning about a sport that he/she is interested in is the very age when the kid is brainwashed into believing that a sport is not what they should pursue in life. At a very early age, all of us are pushed into the competition for studies even if we were meant for other great things.

But why is Cricket so popular?

It is about time we stop being fair-weather mates of our own representatives. Cricket in India has been on a rise and peaked since we conquered the cricket world in 1983, but before that, the country was not an avid cricket follower. After the historic 1983 Cricket World Cup win, the whole fanbase shifted from hockey to cricket. The passion for hockey before that is directly related to the Olympic brilliance of our country in those pre-1980 days. Coincidence or not, this is a noticeable fact – the last Olympic Gold won by India in hockey was in 1980, the last Olympics held before the 1983 Cricket World Cup (Next Olympics were held in 1984). It is staggering that since then the Indian Hockey team has not even received a podium finish at the Olympics.

Condition of other sports

We have had situations in our country where world-renowned athletes have not received proper acclaim in their own country. To name a few :
  • Sprinter Sita Sahu won 2 bronze medals at the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens. She now sells gol gappe in Dhobiya Tanke in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The Indian Women’s Kabaddi team had returned to India as World cup winners and had to go home in an auto-rickshaw. These world cup winners were provided zero acknowledgments.
Indian Women’s Kabaddi team in autorickshaw
One of our problems is the recurring blame game that we play. “The government does not provide proper funding to sports other than cricket”, there are still a great number of athletes in different fields, trying to bring glory to our country who need our support but are completely being overlooked by us.

Is there any hope?

Even after facing this struggle, Indian sporting culture has been graced by many heroes, but how many do we remember? How many have us Indians honored? Did you know that India has won a gold medal in football? Yousuf Khan helped India beat South Korea to win the 1962 Asian Games and also represented India at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Today, India is being represented in several fields of sports. In February 2019, the sports ministry has granted Rs 35 crore from its National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for customized training of athletes who are included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS). Now, it is our duty to back each and every athlete that represents the country, not just the cricketers. Be it track and field events or any other sport, we should support our athletes regardless if they win or lose.


Hello, I am Aliasgar Ayaz. I am currently pursuing Economics honours from The Bhawanipur Education Society College. I am an avid follower of sports, majorly football, volleyball and tennis. I love to write about sports and current affairs dealing with our nation as well as international.

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The Radical - Information That Matters: Why are sports other than Cricket not popular in India?
Why are sports other than Cricket not popular in India?
The basic reason for which sports are not popular in India is that the age at which a kid should start learning about a sport that he/she is interested in is the very age when the kid is brainwashed into believing that a sport is not what they should pursue in life. At a very early age, all of us are pushed into the competition for studies even if we were meant for other great things.
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