From England With Love
India is a country that is very passionate about sports. Amongst their most popular are basketball, field hockey, football (although the country ranks very lowly worldwide), cricket, and even wrestling. Field hockey was long considered India’s national sport due to its large popularity and their constant Olympic wins; however, the Indian government has denied such statements and clarified that India does not actually have a national sport. The Indian hockey team, however, has let down their large fan base in recent years (even though they still rank 5th), and thus their popularity and following has decreased significantly.
India has borrowed from the UK in terms of sports. Another popular sport is cricket - originally from the United Kingdom - and India has succeeded on locally and internationally. In fact, England is one of India’s biggest rivals in the sport, and India’s first official match was played against England back in 1932. Cricket isn’t the only British export to the Asian country. Football was introduced when India was a British colony. Although India does not particularly stand out football-wise, there is a very large following of European football. The English Premier League is one of the most popular ones in India, actually, with a huge base of Manchester United and Liverpool fans.
The London Olympic Games in 2012 were a great platform for Indian athletes, as well, to show off their stamina, dedication and determination. They took home a total of six medals, the most they’ve ever won at any Olympic competition. The Indian government is increasingly pouring more money into sports to have their athletes internationally recognised in all sorts of disciplines, and hopefully one day, they will be at the same level as English athletes. In the meantime, Indian communities in England can continue to enjoy their traditions of supporting and cheering for their team of choice from the Premier League.