Sports in India
Unlike other countries, India is not a major sporting power. The lackadaisical attitude of the government results in just a medal or two in the Olympics and no trophies to boast of in sports other than cricket. Here are the status of sports in India. The mystery of the missing medals (http://www.sportstaronnet.com/tss2738/stories/20040918005300800.htm) -- India's performance in Olympics: an in-depth study published in The Sportstar.
Cricket is by far India's most popular sport. It outstrips all other sports combined which are played in India, in terms of viewership, media coverage and money involved. The rise in cricket's fortunes started in the early 90's after sponsorship of top players. By the turn of the century, it has become a billion dollar industry making it the country's unofficial passtime. Although the Indian cricket team has won a sole Cricket World Cup, cricket is like a religion in the country. Recent victories however, over arch rivals Pakistan and World Champions[Australia] in their home, have propelled India to #2. Cricket is played throughout India except in the North East states.
Football (soccer) is a very popular sport in India. Although the Indian football team in ranked 139 in the FIFA rankings, the team had better days reaching the semifinals in the Olympics way back in the 1940's & 1950's. Most Indians keenly follow local clubs as well as South American and European club matches. The sport is most popular in Goa, West Bengal and Kerala
Although India's national sport, Hockey has fallen into decline due to Cricket. From being an invincible team upto the 80's, the team has fallen on hard times. Recent victories haven't changed that perspective much, although it remains to be seen if India can reproduce its past magic and win trophies again.
Tennis is popular among Indians. Many people do watch the Grand Slams. However India's fortunes in the Grand Slams are nil. The best result in Tennis for India has been placed 2nd in the Davis Cup (default as they refused to play against apartheid South Africa). However India have won quite a few doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam trophies along with a bronze Olympic medal in 1996.
The board game of Chess originated in India in thousands of years ago. India's first Grandmaster, Viswanathan Anand helped popularise the sport en masse. After him there have been a further 7 more GM's from India. Chess today is a very popular sport all over India.
The Formula One motor racing sports is catching up all over urban India. It is one of the fastest growing sports as far as viewship is involved. India however,does not have F1 circuit nor a test driver.
Badminton is supposed to have originated in India. Although India is not among the top teams, it does produce players of high international ranking. Badminton is a popular recreation sport all over India.
Boxing is one of the lesser profiled sports in India. Boxing does have school and national championship matches. However India is yet to produce a heavyweight champion.
Basketball is primaraly a school sport in India. The game is popular in most urban schools. However at higher levels, the sport has a very poor profile.
The British introduced Rugby to India. However it is not very popular in the country. It is mostly played in schools. Rugby is club based and national championships (South Asia) are held every year at the Bombay Gymnkhana, Bombay in August.
Golf is sport that is becoming popular in India. There are numerous golf courses all over India. However the sport is expensive and mostly corporates and the rich play the sport.
Billiards and Snooker
Volleyball is a sport played all over India, both in rural as well as urban India. It is a popular recreation sport but India does not have a world class team as yet.
A popular indoor club sport Table Tennis is a popular recreation sport all over the country.
Squash is an 'elite' recreation sport, played in clubs in urban areas.
Another summer sport.
A popular recreational sport
A popular recreation sport
Supposed to have originated in India. Popular in the Indian army as well as in northern India
The darby is held in many cities in the winter season.
Popular among navy sailors and those attached to sailing clubs.
Almost non existent after school level
A woman's sport played mostly at school level.
Except for sking, snow sports are non existent.