Most Popular Sports
Cricket remains the undisputed champion in terms of popularity in Pakistan in 2016, despite the fact that Pakistani soil has not seen much international cricket action. One can argue that the craze for cricket is not the same as it was in 90s or 2,000s (the decade) but this might just be artificial or seasonal. Whenever the cricket world cup or any other event arrives, the whole nation catches the cricket fever.
The most popular sport of the world is still not the most popular sport in Pakistan in 2016, but things are changing quickly. In almost all the urban centers of Pakistan, football has gained huge popularity over the last few years. It has become the dominant sport in many schools, colleges and universities.
Boxing has been gaining popularity in Pakistan. Compared to other sports, Pakistani boxers have performed reasonably well in the international events. There are boxing clubs in major cities of Pakistan. Karachi has produced some of the best Pakistani boxers over the year. One of the major reasons for recent popularity of boxing in Pakistan is perhaps Amir Khan.
Badminton is popular in Pakistan as it is a sport which has a low cost and can be played anywhere requiring just two players. The sport has been played in schools, colleges and universities of Pakistan since quite some time. This is perhaps the only sport in Pakistan which is played more by the females than males. It is quite common in girls and women of Pakistan.
The weightlifters to be sent include Talha Talib (67kg), Haider Ali (81kg), Zohaib (96kg) and Mohammad Nooh Dastgir Butt (+100kg).
District Karachi clean swiped the event by achieving 9 Gold Medals and 165 points. Hyderabad second position with 60 point and Larkana stood at 3rd position with 50 points.
Tug of War
Snooker has been popular in Pakistan since quite some time. In hundreds of snooker clubs throughout the country, thousands of young players play snooker with passion. There are hardly any training or development programs for snooker players. Most of the players start as a hobby.
Neither table tennis has ever been a sport in which Pakistan performed well internationally, nor a lot of people watch it with keen interest. Yet this sport is popular in Pakistan. One of the reasons can be the small area that is required for the sport and also the relatively low costs involved.
Since, 15 years or so, squash has been known for its past glory and the world championships which players like the Great Jahangir Khan and Janshair Khan won in 90s. With Pakistani players failing to make a strong impact internationally, squash continues to struggle for its place among the sports fans of Pakistan. The limited number of squash courts in the country and membership fee of existing courts being out of the reach of common man, there’s a lot that needs to be done.
The decline of hockey continues. Hockey is the sport which has given Pakistan 3 Olympics gold medals and 4 world cups. Several factors are contributing to the decreasing popularity of the sport which was once the most popular sport in Pakistan. The poor performance of the hockey federation and as a result hockey team over the last few years is one factor. Lack of proper infrastructure, lack of stardom and international appeal are also contributing to the decline of Hockey. Unless something extraordinary happens, the trend is likely to continue.
Tennis is definitely one of the most watched sports among the urban class of Pakistan. With international stars like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic having hundreds of thousands of fans in Pakistan, the sport is quite popular. However, if we look at the number of players, then Pakistan will have very few professional or even amateur players of tennis. The main reason for this is lack of infrastructure, organization and events.
Volleyball continues to be a popular sport in Pakistan. The sport is quite famous in the rural areas of Pakistan. Many local events of volleyball are held in major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and also in rural areas, throughout the year. Such events have good crowds and a passionate atmosphere.