Is Cricket The Only Sport In India?

By RimTim Staff Writer
June 10, 2016

Cricket is by far the #1 sport in India. India will always be known as a nation of 1 billion crazy cricket fans. Indeed, cricket is the only sport where India has any sort of dominance.

As the #1 sport in a large country with a fast growing economy such as India, Indian cricket will never be short of followers or finances. The IPL, for example, generates revenue worth $3 billion every year. It’s not just that the Indian cricket team is one of the best in the world, the country literally bankrolls world cricket. Over 80 percent of the money that sustains cricket comes from India. When India’s national side plays a big cricket game, an estimated 400m watch on television.

Is cricket the only sport in India?

This is a question that must be asked with all seriousness. There is nothing wrong with the love that Indians have for cricket, but should that come at the cost of other sports?

To answer the question, cricket is NOT the only sport in India. There is a massive following for a number of other sports in the country, such as football, hockey, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, squash, and more. There are a lot of young people who are passionate about niche sports such as fencing, rowing, rifle (shooting), lacrosse, bowling, water polo and softball.

Popularity of other sports in India

Shooting is a popular sport in India, made popular by the exploits of Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who won silver in the 2004 Greece Olympics and Abhinav Bindra, who won the first individual gold medal by an Indian in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Indian Super League brought mainstream attention to football in India, featuring the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, Nicola Anelka and Robert Pires and other major international stars. Football is the most watched sport in India after cricket. The English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League enjoy massive popularity in the country. It is hoped that the youth in India will follow Indian football just as closely as they follow the fortunes of Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Hockey was once the top sport in India and it is struggling to survive and gain viewership. But India does have a decent hockey team, which has qualified for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Now, cricket is a great sport. It is fun to watch and play cricket, but in a country like India, where the competition is so intense, very few kids can really dream of playing for India or in the IPL. This requires immense talent. Making it big as a cricket player in India is far tougher than getting into the IITs or IIMs.

It is for this reason that a lot of Indians are taking to niche sports such as fencing, rowing, rifle (shooting), lacrosse, bowling, water polo and softball. The competition is a lot less and it is far easier for talented youngsters to excel at these sports and compete at the highest level.

sports in USA

Sports can secure undergraduate college admissions in the USA

What’s more, being really good at these sports would help you secure undergraduate college admission in the United States as these are these are NCAA sponsored sports in the USA. The NCAA offers sports scholarship to students in colleges and universities in North America. As an Indian student, you can secure sports scholarship to study in an undergraduate college in the USA.

You can get admission into the top undergraduate colleges and universities in the USA such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford by excelling at the sports listed here. Of course, a lot depends on your athletic and academic ability.

You will have to secure excellent academic grades. Your High School grades and SAT exam results will be of critical importance. Based on your grades and SAT results, and depending on your skills, you can secure a water polo scholarship, lacrosse scholarship, fencing scholarship, bowling scholarship, softball scholarship, rifle (shooting) scholarship and rowing scholarship to study in the USA.

One of the biggest advantages of securing admission in a U.S. college through sports scholarships is that girls have as much of a chance as boys. There is no reason why girls cannot compete in and excel at fencing, rowing, rifle (shooting), lacrosse, bowling, water polo and softball. This is so unlike cricket and football, which are mostly played by boys in India.

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