Top 10 Famous Sports in India

Sports hold a cultural significance in Indian Society. From ancient indigenous games to modern international sports, India’s sporting landscape is as varied as its geography. As a diverse country, India plays various sports, including football, cricket, hockey, and basketball. Here, we have defined the top 10 most popular sports played in India in 2024.

1. Cricket

Cricket 1

Cricket has a special place in the heart of every Indian. It is a team sport practised with a ball and a bat, and there are two teams of 11 players each. India’s first-ever World Cup was won in 1983, led by the legendary player Kapil Dev. The Indian Premier League (IPL), held in 2008, completely redefined sports with a superb combination of local superstars and foreign talents.

Over the years, India has recorded unlimited test matches and bilateral series with some mind-blowing players. India has nurtured many legendary cricketers and has become an icon that will encourage many cricketers over generations.

2. Kabaddi

Kabaddi 1

Kabaddi is a sport that originated from the rural natives of Indian history. The pro-Kabaddi league, established in 2014 after the Indian Premier League (IPL), has given it popularity as a professional sport. It is a team contact sport developed with recreational warfare training. Indian pro kabaddi players like Ajay Thakur, Anup Kumar and Rahul Chaudhari have gained a strong reputation in the Asian games and Kabaddi world cups. India has one of the best kabaddi players in the World. The country has won all the kabaddi matches until 2017 and is playing exceptionally well. Introducing Kabaddi in Indian academics spectates its promising future in India and globally.

3. Football

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Football is among the Top 10 famous sports in India. It is a popular and beloved game in West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, and the northeastern states. It is a sport enjoyed by teams with spherical, cylindrical shape balls in a rectangular field with two goalers each. Indian Super League (ISL) held in 2014, has raised the heights of the Indian football league. India has participated in intense competition with many talented coaches and football teams like Mumbai City FC, Bengaluru FC, and ATK Mohun Bagan. Victories in the Asian Games in 1951 and 1962,  where India won a gold medal, depict its rich football history. Sunil Chhetri, the country’s all-time top goal scorer, has the fourth-highest goals in international football tournaments. As football popularity is rising in India, it is evidence of the country’s growing passion for sports.

4. Badminton

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After cricket, badminton is the second most played sport in India. This sport involves hitting a light object named a shuttlecock with a net bat-like structure called a Racket. This shuttlecock is passed to another player on the opposite side, which needs to be repelled by them. Indian badminton legends like Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu made memorable history in the Olympics by winning bronze, silver and gold medals. With many people taking an interest in badminton, the number will ultimately rise due to the brilliant performance of our Indian athletes in this sport.

5. Hockey

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India’s national sport, hockey, is yet another popular sport among the young generation. In hockey, each team plays has a goalkeeper and ten outfield players who use a hockey stick to hit the ball. This game can be played on regular, watered, or synthetic turf. India won six gold medals for playing hockey in the Olympics from 1928 to 1956. Balbir Singh Sr.’s performance at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics was commendable, where he secured five goals. India inspires its notable players to participate in this game, making it a proud nation worldwide.

6. Basketball

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Basketball has been a part of Indian culture for ages—a sport played with a team of players trying to dodge the ball in the net. The popularity of Jr NBA programs in India has reached more than 5.5 million youth, coaches and parents. This program provides instruction in basketball to junior-level players. In India, the NBA operates in more than 19 cities. Over the years, India has seen progress in this sport, with the Indian Women’s Basketball Team getting qualified for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. Satnam Singh Bhamara became the first Indian player to be nitpicked by the NBA in 2015. His hard work has made India and helped other players gain inspiration.

7. Wrestling

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Similar to Kabaddi, wrestling also has its cultural roots in rural areas. Wrestling mimics the ancient Indian game of pehlwani. India has won many medals in wrestling. Sushil Kumar is a two-time Olympic medalist and a successful Olympian in Indian history. The breathtaking performance of the women’s wrestler Geeta Phogat, who won the gold medal in an international competition, is no less. Haryana is identified as the Kusti capital of India, nurturing numerous champions nationwide.

8. Tennis

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Tennis is limited to urban areas, but it still ranks in India’s top 10 popular sports. It is a racket sport similar to badminton with two opponent players. They play one-on-one, single matches or in pairs of two each. In this sport, a shuttlecock is replaced by a tennis ball. The courtyard is divided into two halves with the help of a net. In 2018, Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal, playing mixed double, created history, winning India a bronze medal in the Asian games. Table tennis has a promising future and will leave a residue on the world’s sports arena.

9. Boxing


Young children familiarise boxing with WWE. With the emergence of skilled boxers like Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom, India has won numerous medals. Boxing is not an amateur sport as termed by the Olympic-approved version. It is a sport full of life. When Vijender Singh started his journey in 2015, he went professional in a short span. By conducting a total of nine fights, he won them all. In this process, he also won the Asia-Pacific championship, which boosted his career—later, he was shifted to the top 10 in the world of professional boxing.

10. Malkhambh


Malakhamb is another traditional sport in India. It involves aerial yoga poses and fight grabs. All this is done on a vertical wooden pole. A free-standing pole is made of Seesham Indian rosewood and polished with castor oil. This place is where a gymnast practises and performs his talent.


In India, people are huge fans of cricket. However, many other sports are gaining popularity rapidly, which many people need to be aware. Players like MC Mary Kom, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sunil Chettri have made our nation proud, and they have many fans worldwide.

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