Sport in India
With a population of over a billion people it’s not surprising that many of them partake in sports. Normally it is the wealthier Indians that partake in many of the popular mainstream sports. The lower classes tend to play street sports such as Cricket due to the ability to play those sports on any spare scrap of land.
This sport was considered by outsiders to be the national sport of India but recently the Indian government has denied this, claiming that India does not have a national sport. Nonetheless Hockey is immensely popular in the country and in the 1970’s the Indian Men’s team dominated the sport winning a number of gold’s at the Olympic Games and have won the Men’s hockey world cup. The sport was hit by scandal in 2008 and as a result a new governing body was set up to root out corruption in the game. The sport is so popular that India has a national Hockey league.
The British brought Cricket to India during the days of Imperial rule and ever since it has been the country’s most popular sport and is regarded as an unofficial religion to some. The Indian team is often regarded as one of the best cricket sides in the world and has strong rivalries with Pakistan, England and South Africa. The Indian national team has on the Cricket world cup twice. A shorter faster version of the game called twenty-twenty cricket is immensely popular in the country and the Indian Premier league attracts the world’s top players.
Malla-yuddha is a traditional sport practised in southeast India. Mall Yuddha is a type of combat wrestling which takes place in a clay or dirt pit and is often seen as religious to the practitioners. Many practitioners live at their training hall but this is not always required. All wrestlers are required to abstain from sex, smoking and drinking so the body remains pure and the wrestlers are able to focus on cultivating themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. A wrestler’s only belongings are a blanket, a loincloth and some clothes. In this regard, they are often compared to Hindu-Buddhist holy men.