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Ever wondered what keeps Pakistan’s spirits high?

It’s not just their rich culture and flavorful food!

Cricket dominates the world of Pakistani sports, but there’s more to explore.

Discover the 10 most popular sports in Pakistan in our list.

Most Popular Sports in Pakistan:

  1. Cricket
  2. Field Hockey
  3. Soccer
  4. Polo
  5. Squash
  6. Badminton
  7. Table Tennis
  8. Wrestling
  9. Kabaddi
  10. Athletics

#1 Cricket

Cricket
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1947
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Imran Khan (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 5 Million

Cricket is the undeniable king of sports in Pakistan. The game is deeply embedded in the nation’s culture, and its love for cricket transcends all age groups and social barriers.

Pakistan Super League (PSL) has rapidly become one of the most-watched cricket leagues among Pakistanis. PSL showcases local talent and features international players, creating a thrilling atmosphere for fans. Imran Khan, World Cup-winning captain in 1992 and now the Prime Minister of Pakistan, remains an iconic figure both on and off the field.

Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup victory continues to be a proud and unforgettable achievement, with the nation’s passion for cricket unwavering.

#2 Field Hockey

Field Hockey
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1948
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Islahuddin Siddique (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 1 Million

Field Hockey, the national sport of Pakistan, enjoys a strong fan base due to its rich history and past laurels. The country has a tradition of excellence, having won numerous international titles.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) organizes local leagues and tournaments, as well as the national team’s participation in global events. Islahuddin Siddique, former captain and a legendary figure in Pakistan hockey, has made a significant impact on the sport.

Pakistan’s record four World Cup Titles and three Olympic Gold Medals stand as a testament to the nation’s prowess in field hockey and are cherished by fans and players alike.

#3 Soccer

Soccer
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1948
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Kaleemullah (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 4 Million

Soccer may not be as dominant as cricket, but it holds a special place in the hearts of Pakistani sports enthusiasts. The sport has a growing following, with numerous local clubs and teams gaining popularity.

Pakistan Premier League (PPL) is the top-tier professional soccer league in the country, witnessing fierce competition among participating teams. Pakistani forward, Kaleemullah, has made a name for himself internationally, playing for various clubs around the world.

While soccer is still a developing sport in Pakistan, its support continues to grow, and the nation’s fans enthusiastically follow both local and international soccer events.

#4 Polo

Polo
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1890s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Hissam Ali Hyder (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 10,000

Polo has a longstanding history in Pakistan, especially in its northern regions, where it is often referred to as the ‘Sport of Kings’. The country boasts some of the highest Polo grounds globally, with the Shandur Polo Festival being an annual highlight.

Local teams compete fervently during the Shandur Polo Festival, showcasing their skills and horsemanship in front of devoted fans. Hissam Ali Hyder, a renowned Polo player, has represented Pakistan in several international events, earning admiration and accolades.

The unique combination of fast-paced action, picturesque settings, and cultural significance make Polo a cherished sport among Pakistan’s adventure-seeking enthusiasts.

#5 Squash

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1950s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Jahangir Khan (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 100,000

Squash has a celebrated history in Pakistan, with the country producing numerous world champions and creating a lasting legacy in the sport.

The Pakistan Squash Federation organizes local and national tournaments, nurturing talent and promoting competition. Jahangir Khan, the legendary squash player, holds a unique place in Pakistan’s sports history due to his unparalleled dominance during the 1980s.

Pakistan’s squash players have achieved remarkable success at international events over the years, making the sport a significant part of the country’s athletic identity and pride.

#6 Badminton

Badminton
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1948
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Mahoor Shahzad (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 500,000

Badminton’s popularity in Pakistan has grown considerably, with people from all walks of life enjoying the sport for both leisure and competition.

The Pakistan Badminton Federation organizes national tournaments and oversees the development of the sport throughout the country. Mahoor Shahzad, Pakistan’s top-ranking female badminton player, has made a name for herself internationally.

Pakistan’s aspiring badminton athletes continue to make strides at both national and international levels, showing promise and potential for future accomplishments in the sport.

#7 Table Tennis

Table Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1948
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Asim Qureshi (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 750,000

Table tennis enjoys sizable popularity in Pakistan, thanks to its accessibility and engaging gameplay, which appeals to various age groups.

The Pakistan Table Tennis Federation manages the sport’s affairs, conducting local and national championships to encourage competition and improve standards. Asim Qureshi, a notable table tennis player, has represented Pakistan in multiple international events.

The sport’s recognition in Pakistan is evident through regular tournaments and the dedication of players, coaches, and enthusiasts involved in the growth of table tennis across the country.

#8 Wrestling

Wrestling
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1947
  • 🌟Most Famous Wrestler from Pakistan: Inayatullah (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Wrestlers in Pakistan: 100,000

Wrestling is a traditional sport that holds a special place in Pakistani culture, particularly at the regional level, where it is often enjoyed in the form of ‘Pehlwani’ or ‘Kushti’.

Pakistan’s love for wrestling extends to watching international events, following professional wrestlers, and participating in local ‘Akhara’ matches. Inayatullah, a young wrestler who competed in the 2018 Youth Olympics, showcases Pakistan’s potential in this powerful sport.

Despite modernization and changing interests, wrestling retains its appeal in Pakistan’s sports fabric, preserving its cultural and historic roots.

#9 Kabaddi

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: 1950s
  • 🌟Most Famous Player from Pakistan: Kaleemullah Jatt (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Pakistan: 300,000

Kabaddi, a popular sport in South Asia, also enjoys a dedicated following in Pakistan. This physically demanding and strategic game is actively played in rural areas as well as urban centers.

The sport is governed by the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation, which oversees local competitions, as well as participation in international tournaments. Kaleemullah Jatt is among the acclaimed Kabaddi stars, having represented Pakistan in numerous competitions.

Pakistanis enjoy watching and participating in Kabaddi matches, appreciating its combination of strength, agility, and strategic thinking.

#10 Athletics

Track and Field
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Pakistan: Ancient Times
  • 🌟Most Famous Athlete from Pakistan: Naseem Hameed (Pakistani)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Pakistan: 1 Million

Athletics is a vital part of Pakistan’s sports culture. Participation in various athletic events has produced national and regional champions, with dedicated athletes pursuing their dreams at local, national, and international levels.

Pakistan’s athletic community participates in events such as marathons, track and field, and road races, among others. Naseem Hameed, a renowned Pakistani sprinter, has made history by becoming the fastest woman in South Asia at the 2010 South Asian Games.

With an emphasis on fitness, discipline, and commitment, Pakistan’s athletic landscape continues to evolve and foster talented athletes who aim for greatness on the global stage.

FAQ

What is the most popular sport in Pakistan?

Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan, with an ardent fan base and extensive participation from local clubs to national teams, making it an integral part of Pakistan’s culture.

What is the national sport of Pakistan?

The national sport of Pakistan is field hockey, which has a strong historical connection to the country and boasts numerous international titles, including Olympic Gold Medals and World Cup victories.

What are the most watched sports in Pakistan?

The most watched sports in Pakistan are cricket, followed by field hockey, soccer, kabaddi, badminton, and squash, all of which enjoy a devoted following and showcase the diverse sports culture in Pakistan.

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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