Different types of sports are popular in different parts of the world, but every country has that one sport they are passionate about. India is home to many different types of sports and very talented sportsmen and athletes, but needless to say: everyone knows that cricket is the most popular sport in the country by far.

However, besides cricket, several other popular sports are played in India that millions of people follow are in the country. This article will show you what the five most popular sports in India are.


It is well-known that Indians love cricket, and it forms an important part of their culture. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India, with several talented Indian cricketers making a name for themselves worldwide. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are household names in India as the most successful cricketers in the country and perhaps the world. It is estimated that there are around one billion cricket fans globally, and India (and its neighbours) own over 90% of them.

There are many reasons why Indians love the game of cricket, and simplicity is one of them.

The game of cricket is a relatively simple sport, with only a bat and a ball to play with.

From kids on the streets of India to the best Indian cricketers in the world, most Indians enjoy playing this simple game. And if they don’t play it themselves, they watch cricket matches and tournaments, especially when the Indian Premier League comes around.

The Indian Premier League is India’s most popular sporting event, with eight teams from eight different Indian cities competing for the trophy and millions tuning in to watch. The IPL attracts the largest attendance worldwide at 120 million as a cricket league.

When it comes to sports betting, according to one of the most recommendable online gambling websites, cricket is also one of the largest sports betting markets in the world, almost on par with soccer: it’s estimated that Indians place bets worth $200 million every time the national cricket team plays an ODI.

If you are interested in online bets in India, these kinds of websites help you with online sports betting by providing a list of the best online bookmakers, so you can bet on the sports you love with no issues.


Indian Soccer

Soccer is considered the second most popular sport in India and the second most-watched game by Indians. While the Indian national soccer team has not had great success at the international level, it has had much more remarkable success domestically. Despite being the second most popular sport in India, there is still a big gap between cricket and soccer in terms of viewership and players and success.

Unlike the Indian cricket team, the Indian national soccer team has not been a huge success over the years, nor has it attracted masses of people worldwide.

However, India had the famous golden years of soccer in the 1950s and early 1960s, winning the gold medal at the 1962 Asian Games. India’s most successful and prolific footballer today is Sunil Chhetri. He plays as a striker or winger and is the captain of Bengaluru FC and the Indian national soccer team. Chhetri is currently the fourth-highest international goal scorer among active players after Cristiano Ronaldo, Ali Mabkhout, and Lionel Messi.


Next to soccer, badminton is considered by many to be the second most popular sport in India. Badminton is a racket sport much like tennis, but it is played on grass with a shuttlecock instead of a ball. In recent years, badminton increased significantly, especially after PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win the Badminton World Championship in Basel, Switzerland.

Indian Badminton

While it may not have the same audience as soccer and cricket, it is one of the most played sports in India. For this reason, many Indian players like PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have had impressive international success, even placing among the top 10 rankings of the Badminton World Federation. Today, badminton is becoming increasingly popular in the country. Besides PV Sindhu, other top badminton players in India today include Parupalli Kashyap, Ashwini Ponnappa, Srikanth Kidambi, and Saina Nehwal.


 Kabaddi is an ancient traditional game in India that is recently regaining popularity since the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014. Kabaddi is a sport with a very interesting history, although the source of its origin is a bit of a mystery.

Most sources say that the sport originated over 5,000 years ago in India during the Kurukshetra War as a form of self-defense, although there are a few other theories surrounding the origin of Kabaddi.

The game of Kabaddi today is played between two teams where the objective is for one team to cross the opponent’s court without being tackled by the defending players. The ancient game of Kabaddi is not only one of the fastest-growing sports in India but is also the national sport of Bangladesh and Nepal since the International Kabaddi Federation was formed in 2004.

Field hockey

Like Kabaddi and soccer, field hockey in India has not gained as much media attention or investment and has been overshadowed by cricket. However, in the past, field hockey was a much more popular sport in India, with the country being the first non-European country to join the International Hockey Federation and win the first Olympic gold medal in 1928.

Indian Field Hockey

In India, they play hockey on a grass pitch with wooden field hockey sticks. The Asiatic country even won an impressive total of eight gold medals at the Olympics and one silver and two bronze medals between 1928 and 1956. However, despite these early successes, the lack of adequate infrastructure, and the unbeatable craze for cricket, field hockey’s popularity in India has declined somewhat.