10 Reasons Why Cricket Is So Popular in India Than Hockey


India, a diverse and culturally rich nation, is deeply passionate about sports. Among the myriad of sports enjoyed in the country, cricket stands out as a national obsession. While hockey was once India’s dominant sport, cricket has overshadowed it in popularity over the years. This article delves into the reasons why cricket has become more popular than hockey in India.

1.Colonial Legacy:

One significant reason for cricket’s popularity in India lies in its colonial past. Cricket was introduced to India by the British during their rule in the 18th century. It became a sport associated with privilege and status, played predominantly by the elite class. This historical association with the ruling class gave cricket a head start in popularity over indigenous sports like hockey.

2.International Success:

India’s success on the international cricket stage has played a pivotal role in shaping its popularity. Victories in major tournaments such as the Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy have fueled the nation’s passion for the sport. Iconic moments like India’s World Cup triumphs in 1983 and 2011 have become etched in the collective memory of the nation, further solidifying cricket’s status as the country’s favorite sport.

3.Celebrity Culture:

Cricket in India is not just about the sport; it’s also about the celebrities it produces. Cricket stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni enjoy demigod status in the country. Their fame transcends the boundaries of sports, making them cultural icons. The glamour associated with cricket and its players adds to its allure, attracting a vast fan following.

4.Media Coverage and Marketing:

The extensive media coverage and marketing campaigns surrounding cricket contribute significantly to its popularity. Television networks vie for broadcasting rights, ensuring that cricket matches are accessible to viewers across the country. Moreover, endorsements and sponsorships flood the cricketing world, further amplifying its reach and appeal.

5.Infrastructure and Facilities:

Cricket infrastructure in India is far more developed compared to hockey. The country boasts world-class stadiums such as the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. These venues host not only international matches but also domestic tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL), attracting massive crowds and fostering a culture of cricket fandom.

6.School and College Culture:

Cricket enjoys widespread popularity in educational institutions across India. Schools and colleges often prioritize cricket over other sports, providing better facilities and resources for aspiring cricketers. This grassroots support ensures a steady supply of talent into the sport, perpetuating its dominance in the country’s sporting landscape.

7.Accessibility and Affordability:

Unlike hockey, which requires specialized equipment and playing surfaces, cricket is more accessible and affordable to the masses. All one needs is a bat, a ball, and an open space to play. Street cricket is a common sight in Indian neighborhoods, allowing people from all walks of life to participate in the game.

8.Influence of T20 Format:

The advent of Twenty20 (T20) cricket has revolutionized the sport and garnered even more fans in India. The fast-paced, entertaining nature of T20 matches appeals to a younger audience and those with shorter attention spans. The IPL, a T20 cricket league, has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting viewership not just from India but from around the world.

9.Lack of Success in Hockey:

While cricket has enjoyed consistent success at the international level, Indian hockey has struggled to replicate its past glory. The decline in performance and lack of major tournament victories have led to a waning interest in the sport among the masses. Without significant achievements to rally behind, hockey has failed to capture the nation’s imagination like cricket.

10.Cultural Significance:

Cricket has become deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of India. It is not merely a sport but a symbol of national pride and identity. The euphoria surrounding cricket matches, especially when India plays against arch-rivals like Pakistan, transcends sports and becomes a unifying force that brings the nation together.


Cricket’s ascendancy over hockey in India can be attributed to a combination of historical, cultural, and sporting factors. While hockey remains a part of India’s sporting heritage, cricket’s widespread appeal and dominance have firmly established it as the nation’s favorite pastime. As cricket continues to evolve and thrive in India, it is unlikely that any other sport will dethrone it from its pedestal of popularity anytime soon.