Popular sport in each country: Pakistan loves to play sports. However, the love for sports is not restricted to one or two sports. Although hockey is the country’s national sports; there are a handful of sports that are popular in Pakistan. Time and again, Pakistan has displayed to the world that this country has no shortage of talent.
Pakistan keeps a rich history in sports. Over the years, various sports have seen their golden days in Pakistan while some sports declined in their popularity because of different reasons. Trends might get changed but one aspect remains constant; i.e. the love of Pakistan for sports.
Here is a list of the top five most popular sports in Pakistan:
Although cricket is not Pakistan’s national sport, however, it is the undisputed champion in terms of popularity. Internationally, Pakistan cricket has had its ups and downs. However, the fan following has risen manifold over the years. You can safely assume it as among the country’s national sports.
With the launching of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the nation has hooked to cricket. Unfortunately, there was no international cricket in Pakistan due to security reasons from 2009 to 2015. Lately, the security situation started to get better and a handful of cricket games have been played. Hopefully, the trend will continue in the future as well.
Sporting success: Champion in the 1992 Cricket World Cup and T20 World Cup champion in 2009.
Hockey has been in decline in Pakistan for two decades. Hockey used to be the popular sport of Pakistan. The country won:
- 4 world cups and
- 3 Olympics gold medals.
Several factors have contributed to the decreasing popularity of hockey which was once the most-watched and like any other popular sport in each country. The poor performance along with the politics of the hockey federation resulted in the decline of the hockey team over the last years.
Lack of infrastructure, the dearth of international appeal, and local stardom also contributed to the decline of hockey. Unless something out of this world happens, the nosedive trend is likely to continue.
Sporting success: Gold medals at three Olympics’ editions in field hockey.
Hockey Champions Trophy winners – 1978, 1980, 1994
Squash used to be the most popular sport in Pakistan; at par with hockey. Pakistan dominated the world of Squash for a long period. Jahangir Khan remained unbeaten in a world record 555 consecutive squash matches. Jansher Khan equally a legend of the sport, won several British Open, World Open, and other tournaments.
Both Jansher and Jahangir combined won 14 World Open Squash tournaments. These monstrous achievements made Pakistan a record machine nation in the world. Pakistani players won the World Open Squash Tournaments 17 times, and British Open Tournaments 12 times, the highest by any country.
The world’s most popular sport is not the most liked sport in Pakistan; however, things are changing rather quickly. In all the urban centers, football is gaining huge popularity over the past few years.
Football has become the dominant sport in several schools and colleges. Over the past few years, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has failed to make this beautiful game popular in Pakistan. However, the international stardom of the game is huge enough and football is still slowly getting its due share of popularity in Pakistan.
There are numerous snooker clubs in Pakistan that are a testament that it is among the most popular sports in Pakistan. However, there are not many formal coaching programs or training centers to promote snooker in the country. A majority of the people only play snooker as a hobby and not professionally.
In the international arena, Pakistan’s involvement is quite limited. Besides, there are some noteworthy players in Pakistan including Muhammad Asif who won the ISBF World Snooker Championship in Sophia, Bulgaria.