The list comes from YouGov’s survey results on the most followed sports in the country.

India is on its way to becoming the most populated country in the world with more than 1.4 billion people. The people of India have always been very passionate about sports. Although the majority of Indian people are mad about cricket still there is a huge popularity of other sports also.

Sports like football, badminton, tennis, wrestling etc in recent times have grown in popularity. YouGov did a survey recently to take a look at the five most followed sports in India. So let’s take a look at the five most followed sports by Indians.

5- Football

Football is the most followed sport in the world. However, in India football has not been so popular. There are certain parts of the country where football has always been popular. In eastern, northeastern and southern India football is very popular. In India, the majority of fans follow the European leagues.

The Indian Football Federation in recent times has taken many major steps to make football popular all over the country. The federation’s steps to hold the U-17 FIFA World Cup (men’s and women’s), the improvement of infrastructure and quality of football, and the introduction of the Indian Super League have had a somewhat positive impact. The current performance of the national team has also attracted the attention of the people. In the survey by YouGov about 18 per cent of people follow football, placing it in the fifth position in the list of most followed sports in India.

4- Tennis

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna

Tennis is another sport which has a huge fan following all over the world. In India also tennis is followed by a large number of people. In singles tennis, India has not been able to accomplish anything of significance since Leander Paes’ Olympic medal. However, in doubles and mixed doubles, there have been major victories.

India has had a rich history in the doubles section in the recent past. Mahesh Bhupati, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza are some of the bests to have graced the sport not just from India but in world tennis.

According to a survey by YouGov tennis is the fourth position on the list of most followed sports in India with 21 per cent of fans following.

3- Badminton

Badminton in recent times has become one of the most followed sports in India. It is considered by many to be underrated in the sporting world. In India, in recent times many promising young players have emerged and have performed exceptionally for the country on the world stage.

Saina Nehwal 2012 won the bronze medal in the Olympics becoming the first to do so. And since then, it has only been a ride upward for the Indian Badminton scenario.

Indians have brought medals in Badminton in the last three Olympics, won the prestigious Thomas Cup and more recently, medalled at the Asian Badminton Mixed Team Championships. The survey of YouGov ranks badminton to be the third most popular sport in India with a 21 per cent fan following.

2- Kabaddi

Jaipur Pink Panthers PKL 9

Kabaddi is a traditional sport of India which has its origins related to India. However, for some time the sport lost its charm and was not being followed as such. Kabaddi has in recent years again started to gather a huge following. This is the reason why it is currently the second most followed sport in the country.

Pro Kabaddi League is considered to be the main reason why the sport has again become a mainstream sport. The league in 2014 became India’s second most popular league after IPL. The success of the league is due to its simplicity which attracts more and more attention to the game.

Indian Kabaddi team has the best team in the world and has been dominant in the World Cups. Currently, India and Iran are the best teams in the world. According to the YouGov survey about 25 per cent of people in India follow Kabaddi.

1- Cricket

There is a popular saying that cricket is a religion in India. This in itself proves how popular the sport is all over India. There is no sport in the whole world which can come close to cricket. The fan following of cricket is just unimaginable. Since the heroics of the Indian team in 1983 till now every time a major tournament is held India is considered to be the favourite.

Moreover, the introduction of IPL in 2008 increased the sport’s popularity further. India has produced some great players like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and others who have been able to not only keep the following but also increase the fan following.

The pool of promising youngsters and the financial growth of the sport make it clear that cricket will keep on growing this way for years to come. This makes it very hard for any other sport to overtake cricket to become the most followed sport in India. According to the YouGov survey, cricket tops the list of most followed sports in India with a 52 per cent fan following.

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