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Ever wondered what sports make Bangladesh’s heart beat?

It’s not just about cricket!

Though cricket dominates the sports scene in Bangladesh, there are many other beloved games.

Curious about what else fuels passion in Bangladesh?

Explore the 11 most popular sports in Bangladesh in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Bangladesh:

  1. Cricket
  2. Soccer
  3. Kabaddi
  4. Hockey
  5. Volleyball
  6. Badminton
  7. Table Tennis
  8. Athletics
  9. Swimming
  10. Chess
  11. Shooting

#1 Cricket

Cricket
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: 1700s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 1 Million

Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Bangladesh. The game’s dynamic nature and the passion of its fans have created a vibrant cricketing culture in the country.

The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is the most esteemed cricket league, with both local and international players participating in exciting matches. Shakib Al Hasan, an all-rounder and former national team captain, is the country’s most famous cricketer.

The highlight of Bangladesh’s cricket history is their qualification for the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015, showcasing their growth as a competitive team on the international stage.

#2 Soccer

Football (Soccer)
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Ashfaq Ahmed (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 500,000

Soccer, though shadowed by cricket in Bangladesh, still holds a significant place in the hearts of many fans. The sport is widely played and followed across the country.

The Bangladesh Football Premier League serves as the top soccer league, featuring local clubs battling for the title. National team striker Ashfaq Ahmed is among the most prominent soccer players in Bangladesh.

Though not as successful internationally, Bangladeshi soccer fans still passionately support their national team and enjoy watching revered competitions like the FIFA World Cup or UEFA Champions League.

#3 Kabaddi

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Traditional
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Aruduzzaman Munshi (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 100,000

Kabaddi, a traditional sport with ancient roots, holds a special place in Bangladesh’s sports culture. Known for its unique blend of physicality and strategy, kabaddi has a dedicated following.

Bangladesh has a noteworthy kabaddi league, featuring clubs from different regions. Aruduzzaman Munshi, a renowned kabaddi player, has led the national team in various international competitions, including the Asian Games and the Kabaddi World Cup.

The sport’s cultural significance and the country’s commitment to preserve its roots have ensured kabaddi’s continued popularity in Bangladesh.

#4 Hockey

Field Hockey
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: 1947
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Abdul Malek (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 150,000

Hockey, while not as popular as cricket, still attracts a fan base in Bangladesh. The sport requires skill, determination, and teamwork, making it an engaging game to watch and play.

Bangladesh has a competitive domestic hockey league, with clubs from around the country participating. Abdul Malek, a former captain of the national team, is a famed hockey player in Bangladesh.

Though Bangladesh’s international success in hockey is limited, fans remain enthusiastic and hopeful for the future, as the country invests in nurturing young talent.

#5 Volleyball

volleyball
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: 1937
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Sanjib Shil (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 100,000

Volleyball enjoys modest popularity in Bangladesh, especially among the younger generation. It is an engaging team sport that requires both physical prowess and strategic thinking.

The Bangladesh Volleyball Federation organizes various domestic championships, including the National Volleyball Championship. Sanjib Shil is a prominent volleyball figure in the country, known for his skillful plays and leadership.

While international success has been limited, the sport has a passionate following and is steadily gaining traction as more people indulge in playing and watching volleyball in Bangladesh.

#6 Badminton

Badminton
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Shapla Akter (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 50,000

Badminton holds a cherished place among many in Bangladesh, who appreciate its elegance, speed, and competitive spirit.

The Bangladesh Badminton Federation is responsible for organizing national tournaments and promoting the sport throughout the country. Shapla Akter, one of the most skilled badminton players from Bangladesh, has gained notable success at both national and international competitions.

Though not as prominent as cricket or soccer, badminton remains a favored sport among many Bangladeshis, who appreciate its mix of skill, agility, and strategy.

#7 Table Tennis

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bangladesh: Zobera Rahman (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bangladesh: 75,000

Table tennis is a popular indoor sport in Bangladesh, known for its quick reflexes and exciting gameplay. It is widely enjoyed in schools, colleges, and sports clubs.

The Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation governs the sport within the country, organizing various national and inter-club championships. Zobera Rahman, a decorated table tennis player, has represented Bangladesh in several international competitions.

Though it may not have the same fanfare as cricket, table tennis maintains a steadfast group of enthusiasts who continue to support and promote the sport in Bangladesh.

#8 Athletics

Middle Distance Running
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Bangladesh: Shirin Akter (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Bangladesh: 100,000

Athletics holds a significant place in Bangladesh’s sporting landscape, being the foundation of numerous sports events. The country has produced several talented athletes over the years, across various disciplines.

Shirin Akter, a noted sprinter, has represented Bangladesh in competitions such as South Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. The Bangladesh Athletics Federation oversees the promotion and organization of athletics events in the country.

While athletics may not bring in massive crowds like cricket, the dedication and achievements of Bangladeshi athletes contribute to the sports tapestry, with hope for greater success in the future.

#9 Swimming

swimming
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Mid-1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Swimmer from Bangladesh: Mahfizur Rahman (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimmers in Bangladesh: 40,000

Swimming enjoys a modest level of popularity in Bangladesh, with several athletes making strides in the pool. The sport not only builds physical endurance but also fosters discipline and perseverance.

The Bangladesh Swimming Federation oversees regional and national swimming competitions in the country. Mahfizur Rahman is a notable swimmer, representing Bangladesh in prestigious events such as the Asian Games and the South Asian Games.

Though swimming has yet to achieve the popularity of cricket or soccer, the sport has a growing following, with future champions training to make their mark on the international stage.

#10 Chess

Chess
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Late 1800s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Chess Player from Bangladesh: Niaz Murshed (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Chess Players in Bangladesh: 50,000

Chess, a game that challenges intellect and strategy, enjoys a dedicated fan base in Bangladesh. The sport has produced several world-class players, showcasing the mental acuity of Bangladesh’s chess enthusiasts.

The Bangladesh Chess Federation organizes domestic and international competitions, promoting the sport in the country. Niaz Murshed, the first Bangladeshi International Grandmaster, has put Bangladesh on the chess map by performing exceptionally in various world championships.

Despite not enjoying the mass appeal of cricket, Chess remains a respected sport in Bangladesh, attracting those with an aptitude for deep thinking and strategic skill.

#11 Shooting

shooting
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bangladesh: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Shooter from Bangladesh: Abdullah Hel Baki (Bangladeshi)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Shooters in Bangladesh: 2,000

Shooting sports have gradually gained popularity in Bangladesh as a competitive discipline that demands precision and focus.

The Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation oversees the sport’s development and organizes national and international competitions. Abdullah Hel Baki, an ace shooter, has represented Bangladesh in numerous prestigious events, including the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.

Though not as widely popular as cricket, shooting sports provide a platform for athletes with keen focus and unwavering concentration. Aspiring shooters work diligently to hone their skills, aiming to elevate Bangladesh’s marksmanship reputation on the global stage.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Bangladesh?

Cricket is the most popular sport in Bangladesh, loved by fans across the country and deeply ingrained in its culture, with numerous players and leagues dedicated to the sport.

What is the national sport of Bangladesh?

The national sport of Bangladesh is Kabaddi, a traditional sport with ancient roots that holds cultural significance and enjoys a dedicated following throughout the nation.

What are the most watched sports in Bangladesh?

The most watched sports in Bangladesh are cricket, soccer, kabaddi, hockey, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, athletics, swimming, chess, and shooting, all boasting varied levels of viewership and fan bases in the country.

I'm a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. I run stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton, took part in the German Mini Golf Championships, started learning 'real' Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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