Most Popular Sports in India

Cricket1) Cricket: It's no surprise that cricket is the answer when one asks what is the most favourite sport in India. While the country's strong historical bonds with the British culture undoubtedly plays a role as to the reason behind this popularity, recent success at the international level also has been a major factor making it the most popular sport in India. India's love for cricket is deep-rooted, ever since the Parsee and the Hindu took on each other and their lords. The British governing body in India attached a lot of prestige to the game. Large crowds would gather to enjoy the game even at its primitive stage. After around 150 years, cricket is what unifies this land of diversity.

Cricket popularity

Football (Soccer)2) Football (Soccer): Football may not come to our mind when we ask, "What sport is India famous for?" But the recent changes in sports scenario are proving it to be different. The national football team jumped up to the 100th position from 136th in world ranking, having won 11 of the last 13 matches since the November of 2015. Add to that, the U-17 World Cup is also scheduled to be hosted by the country. India has already cleared a spot in this prestigious tournament being the host country. The governing body (AIFF) will bid for the next FIFA World Cup depending on the performance in the U-17 tournament. Football has always been among the top 3 sports in Bengal and the complete North-Western India. However, since the late 20th century, Goa and Mumbai have been the lesser known footballing hub of the country.

Football (Soccer) popularity

Field Hockey3) Field Hockey: Much like cricket, when it comes to hockey one does not need too much of introduction to it; hockey being one of the most favourite sports in India. Hockey in India had seen its peak during the 1920s to the 1950s, being unbeaten in the Olympics and boasting six gold medals. However, after the introduction of the AstroTurf, this success had quickly been forgotten and the team was left struggling on international stage. Although recently they have been trying to improve their performance, they are nowhere near the good old days. Nevertheless, it is still one of the top 3 sports in India and people still love the team in their endeavours.

Field Hockey popularity

Tennis4) Tennis: Tennis is one of the latest sports to be hailed by the Indian sports audience. 40% of households in India have been reported to keep an interest in the sport. There has been a hike in this figure just around the time of Wimbledon 2016. While tennis did remain a game of the high class society, it can be said that it is getting more and more accessible to the middle class. Among the icons of tennis in India, Sania Mirza is the most prolific, much to her being a symbol of equality in the society as far as women and the Muslim community is concerned.

Tennis popularity

Badminton5) Badminton: Although it is only the fifth most popular sport in India, badminton is played by the second most number of people in the country, second only to cricket. Saina Nehwal remains one of the most distinguished players, having won the bronze medal in 2012 Olympics. However, quite recently P.V Sindhu stole the show after winning the silver medal in the last Olympics.

Badminton popularity

Table Tennis6) Table Tennis: Like most other major sports in India, table tennis (TT) was brought to the country by the British. Although just one Indian TT player, Sharath Kamal, ranks in the top 50 players in the world, it is an extremely popular game among the Indian youth. Numerous tourneys are held at inter-school and state level.

Table Tennis popularity

Basketball7) Basketball: Unlike any other sport in this list of India's main sports, basketball has been actively growing it's popularity over the last decade. The NBA has targeted India after China to preach the popularity of basketball and hopes to rival cricket in terms of popularity in the country. The campaign is also going to be supported by the three super-giant sporting industries - Nike, Adidas and Under Armour.

Basketball popularity

Motor Sports8) Motor Sports: Moving on to the next famous sport in India, Motorsport must be mentioned for its uprising awareness and viewership. According to a survey, an increase of 17% was recorded in viewership of motorsports in the last 6 years. There are just two racers, Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, who have taken part in Formula One from India. The former had made his debut in F1 in 2005 for the team Jordans. He was also a part of the team HRT during 2011 and 2012. Karun Chandhok began his F1 career in 2010 with the HRT. Among the rising stars, Arya Singh is one for the future, hopefully.

Motor Sports popularity

Boxing9) Boxing: Among the top 20 sports in India, boxing is the most googled Olympic game in India, and that is the reason it has been placed at number 13 here. However, Indian boxing has not really been up to the anticipated level, mostly due to internal corruption within the governing body apart from insufficient and limited funding from the Government. Indians are the sixth most enthusiastic boxing fans in the world.

Boxing popularity

Gymnastics10) Gymnastics: Indian gymnasts made their mark mostly in the Commonwealth Games. First in 2010 when Ashish Kumar became the first Indian to win a medal at an international gymnastics stage. He secured a bronze medal but the controversial comments from the President of the Gymnastics Federation of India pointing at the "underachievement" of the coach was widely reported in the media. Dipa Karmakar, another Indian gymnast also won the bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games becoming the first female Indian gymnast to reach such standard. However she missed the bronze at the last Olympics just by whiskers. She's also one of the five women to successfully complete the Produnova, which is considered as the most difficult vault performed so far by any female gymnast.

Gymnastics popularity


JP said on 2017-02-21 12:56:01:

I think this method of measuring sports popularity is very scientific. Thanks for putting it up!

this is a ducked up list wrestling ,basketball,motorsports .golf, no one cares about these sports in india they should not even feature in these lists i dont know which illogical and foolish mind made this list

-Abhay Singh

Love to see this number :-)

Although I'm an all sports lover, I love cricket to the max.
My order to watch would be like this

Cricket--Probably there needs no explanation as I'm from India. :-)

Football(soccer) only at the time of worldcup, Euro, and at times ( for EPL and EUFA)

Tennis followed very well at the time of only grandslams(AUS, Wimbledon, French and US Opens).[But this sport is seen when top 4 ranks play these days, ie Nadal, Federer, Murray, Medvedev..Djokovic etc. After Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Rafter era this has become weak in India till Federer and Nadal reached prime states. And in woman after Steffi, Sanchez, Pierce, Monica, Martina Hingis and to an extent Williams' sisters (though they are still there) era probably its not followed by many. And these days it has become fashion parade :-).

Then you have Field Hockey although many love it there is no craze these days due to poor show by the national team for decades. But people will throng the stadiums when National team plays. And I guess people will not surf net for this for many reasons.

Then you have

table tennis,
Chess and caroms although they dont come unders sports as such :-)

And you have selected people for sports like
Snooker, Billiards, Golf, Polo, Grandpix

When it comes to play

Apart from Cricket, what people love to play are
Basketball(mostly at student level)
Table Tennis,

thank you,


cricket rocksssssssssssssssssss and football suckssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

-Kapil Bhardwaj94

wt abt hockey????

-Shah rukh Khan

Thanks for the reply and explanation. I can see the difficulties in collecting the kind of data and stats i was expecting, but i understand that it's an ongoing project and will evolve over time. I wish you all the very best and I hope to see more inclusive data being used in future.


Field Hockey is certainly much more popular in India than soccer or football.. by any standards you might want to employ.. not more than 0.1% of the population would be able to name even 1 American football team.. and i am not able to connect to the site using my facebook a/c due to site error... "An error occurred with Most Popular Sports. Please try again later."


Field Hockey is certainly much more popular in India.. by any standards you might want to employ..

and i am not able to connect using my facebook a/c..


 Where is hockey. Hockey is 2nd most popular sport in India after our religion CRICKET.
What football we don't know football, Indians hate football.

-mahesh patil

where field hockey man it must have got at least the 3rd pos


Thanks for the feedback. As metioned above, the list is based on which "individual sports" websites internet users in the country browse the most (based on Alexa traffic ranks). All country-wise lists are generated automatically using those stats - definitely a limitation of the website currently. For India, unfortunately, dedicated field-hockey websites are not as popular as websites like Thus, this list represents popularity among internet users, which may not be true representative of whole country's population. (Thi is definitely a limitation that we have tried to convey above). Very soon, we will provide more detailed stats and use multiple means of measuring sports popularity, not just website traffic analysis.




field hockey is the no.2 sport in india as per popularity, football is popular only in metros (dont include mumbai)
but yes the internate search is less than that of football becusefootball is worlds most populer sport and have many superstars.
whenever indian team plays any gameof hockey it always a full housein india.


Correction: India stands now in 170 # of Fifa Ranking, below giants as Faroe Islands, Curaçao Island and other great microscopic Islands with a couple thousands population. India should hide the fact that soccer is the seconds most popular sport, is kinda embarassing not to say unbelievable.


why do you think cricket is the most popular sport in India?


where is field hockey. 




i love hockey


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