The popularity of cricket beats all sports in India. No other sport comes even a close second in terms of popularity. The reasons could be many. First of all, cricket coaching centers and infrastructures are present in almost all the cities of India. Kids and even adults can practice and play cricket with just a bat and ball, which is available in all budget range. Moreover, for playing cricket, one doesn’t need great physic or stamina. You just need, interest for the game, passion and practice to develop batting, fielding or bowling skills. Hence you see, this sport is being played in almost every nook and corner of India. Urban and rural places, open ground or fields, by-lanes or street, you find cricket being played almost everywhere in India. But why are other sports, not so popular in India? Sports like hockey, football, volleyball, badminton and Kabaddi are also popular in India. But these games are not as popular as cricket. Let’s have a look at the others games and their popularity status in India.
Cricket Vs Football
First of all, India did not participate in the world’s greatest football event, the FIFA World Cup. So, all football lovers had to cheer for another country of which they might not even be a citizen. It does make a huge difference when you are cheering for your country or some other country. The patriotism and the strong emotional feeling may be missing when you win or lose.
On the other-hand you have more international cricket tournament being played throughout the year. So, you know the names of many of the players, their profile and even their achievements. You may develop a strong emotional connect with them. This leads to cricketers having many die-hard fans and millions of followers in the social media.
Moreover, cricket has modified itself to the time. Now there are three different formats. The five-day game or the test match, fifty over game or the One Day International and Twenty20 game, which is the shortest version of them all. It has replays, that can change a decision taken by the umpire. A player can develop either a batting or a bowling skill to play cricket. But in football you have to develop the main skill of kicking the ball into the goal for victory. But in cricket there are three aspects of the game. The batting, bowling and the fielding. You can improve in any two aspects and work towards winning the game. Cricket develops both physical and mental ability. Whereas football and hockey help in developing more of the physical skill.
Cricket and Hockey
Since India’s independence, hockey has been our national game. India last won an Olympic gold medal in hockey, in the year 1980. Many changes took place in the game of hockey since then and India couldn’t keep up with the pace. They won the next medal only after 41 years, so how can you expect the game to become very popular in India?
But in cricket it is not so. After the world cup win in 1983 India got the chance to host the next World Cup. Along with the broadcasting rights, the sponsors and advertisement offer, flooded the media. All this created a huge interest in the sports and ticket sales shot up. This, entirely transformed the game in the Indian sub-continent. The other countries in the sub-continent also started harbouring hopes of winning the World Cup and also started preparing themselves for the same. Today cricket has become very popular not only in India but in the Indian sub-continent.
Cricket and Badminton
The popularity of badminton is growing very fast. But it’s only next to cricket and football. Badminton has gained popularity after a series of win by PV Sindhu in International tournaments especially in the two Olympic Games, Bronze medal in Tokyo and the Silver medal in Rio in 2016. The latest sensation is Lakshya Sen, who only at 20 years has won the silver medal in All England Open 2022 and bronze medal in the World Championships in 2021. The recent Thomas cup win cemented India’s position as a badminton nation. This team win, was hailed by all sports fraternity in the country. A nation prides more on a team win. Now there is more publicity, sponsors and infrastructure as sportsman like PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, keep bringing laurels to the country. The popularity of the game has been growing in leaps and bounds. But still there’s a long way to go and catch up with the popularity earned by cricket in India.
Cricket Vs Kabaddi
Kabaddi is gaining in popularity ever since the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League. This sport has risen up the ladder of popularity only too soon. The reason could be many. It is a team sport, the match is for short duration, i.e., for 40 minutes, it is a contact sport, a sport which is known to the people of the rural areas since long. Most of the male members of the villagers must have had the opportunity, to play this game. No equipment is needed to play this sport. Only some space is required. Hence it is a sport that can be taken up by any person. This sport is considered to be a game of strength, making strategies, grit and determination. Many sponsors and celebrities are getting involved in this sport. Bangladesh, Iran and Nepal have taken up to playing Kabaddi. The Pro Kabaddi League has taken the game to not only every nook and corner of the country but also to many countries around the globe. Looking at the growing popularity of this sport around the world, very soon this sport could become a part of the Olympic game as well.
But it is only in its nascent stage, in terms of popularity and prize money, when compared to the popularity and prize money of cricket.
Cricket Vs Volleyball
Volleyball is played in rural as well as urban India. It is more popular as a recreational sport in India. It is a team sport. The Indian Volleyball team has never qualified for the Olympic Games but appeared in World Championship twice. This sport is very popular in the state of Kerala. In 2022 India won Bronze at the Asian men’s U-18 Volleyball Championship, and won Silver in Asian men’s U-20 Volleyball Championship. It was the first time that India won medals in both the tournament in the same year and qualified for World Championships. Their team coaches want their teams to have more overseas trips and international exposure for these players so that that can win the upcoming Asian Games and qualify for the 2024 Olympics. Again, this sport also has a long journey ahead for gaining immense popularity. Today India is 37 in the World ranking.
Do you play any of these games? There’s a lot of career opportunities in these sports. You may pick up a racquet, bat, volleyball, basketball or a football of your choice from ‘THE TIDKES’. You can get the best sports equipment from our ecommerce platform www.thetidkes.com Do visit our retail store, TT SPORTS, at Akola, Maharashtra to find a wide range of sports products and accessories related to cricket, badminton, volleyball, football and basketball. Carom boards, chess boards, yoga mats, skipping ropes and all sports apparels are also available with ‘THE TIDKES’. We are authorized distributors of COSCO, Yonex, Nivia, Spartan, SS, Tennex, Konex and many more Indian and global brands.
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