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The most popular sports of India - Cricket, Kabaddi, Hockey

Everybody knows that the Baseball and soccer are major sports in Japan!

But do you know which sports are popular in India?

I have found some sports that are mainly played in India.

Firstly, the most popular sport at national level is,

  • Cricket!

Bollywood is very famous in Japan as the Image of India, but along with Bollywood, Cricket is also so popular in India that it is said to be the largest religion in India.

Cricket is originated in England but at present the number of cricket players globally is more than is more than 300 million, making it a globally major sport. (The number of baseball players is around 35 million)

At first glance it does look like baseball, but... I'm not familiar with the rules and it's complicated, so I won’t be able to describe it! ︎

It is also known as the “Gentlemen’s sport” and traditionally its tournaments would be played for several days with “Teatime breaks” in between. Overall, this has been a very elegant sport.

Today, if you visit India, you will see small children playing cricket everywhere on daily basis and the national cricket team athletes are treated as stars/national heroes!

  • Hockey

It has been played in India for a long time, and the Indian hockey team is strong enough to win several medals in the Olympics. It seems that not only boys but also women's hockey team is very strong!

The ultimate “Onigokko” of ancient India

  • Kabaddi!

You must have seen Kabaddi in Japanese anime1

It seems to be secretly popular, isn’t it?

You will be surprised to know that Japanese players have also participated in the Indian professional leagues of Kabaddi!

The most fascinating rule of Kabaddi is that the player must attack while continuously murmuring the words “Kabaddi kabaddi”.

I am very excited to see this sport in Anime.

By the way, “kho-Kho” is also similarly popular traditional sport.

The sport I want to learn personally

  • Kalaripayattu

It is the oldest martial art that originated in Kerala, southern India.

One theory says that it is the prototype of Karate!

As a comprehensive martial art, it makes use of various striking techniques, joint techniques, and weapons. It also requires having the knowledge of particular “Marma” points.

Today, it is also popular as a fitness sport and known as “Moving Yoga”.


In addition to this, soccer, badminton, basketball poles, etc. are also popular in India and it seems that those are growing rapidly.

With the success in the Tokyo Olympics, it seems that these sports will continue to gain more popularity in future!

We will be looking forward to the success of Indian players in the future!


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