What Are The Most Popular Sports In The World?

Nowadays, when different sports compete for investment and publicity, it’s interesting how they rank in terms of popularity.

Various criteria were used to measure popularity, such as television audience, number of viewers, and income. So what is the world’s favorite sport? The answer, after looking at all the criteria is obvious, football is king. But who is the second favorite in the world? This honor goes to cricket followed by basketball in third place.

1) Football

She has the biggest fans all over the world, ranging from rich to poor and young to old. The game is of Chinese origin and developed by the English.

It is played in 208 countries and is followed by fans as a top sport in 93 countries with a combined population of 2 billion people and is among the top 3 sports in 100 countries with 3 billion people. It is the richest sport in the world and can be played by rich and poor alike. Domestic leagues in Europe are worth over $ 30 billion and other tournaments add up to an additional $ 10 billion. The FIFA World Cup could boost the host country’s economy by more than $ 10 billion (excluding developing countries) (The Bleacher Report – The Most Popular Team Sports: Football, Cricket, Basketball and Baseball; Posted by Amrit Dolly, May 7, 2009).

Most Popular Sports

There are different types of football, namely futsal or indoor football and beach football, which helps to increase its appeal. Then there is women’s football, which has developed since the 1990s and also has World Cup competitions.

2) Cricket

The second most popular sport in the world. It is the most popular sport in 20 countries with a total population of 1.6 billion and is among the 3 most popular sports in 10 countries with a population of over 200 million. The Cricket World Cup is the second largest sporting event in the world with a TV audience of 5 billion people. Cricket Board of Control of India is the richest sports organization in the world, valued at over $ 2 billion. (Bleacher Report – Most Popular Team Sports, etc.)

Cricket consisted of twenty, three hours and 20 parallel actions, as well as 50 side and test matches (traditional form) of the One-Day Up to 5-Day Internationals.

The game was invented in England in the 17th century and exported to the colonies by settlers in the 18th century.

Most Popular Sports

Cricket controllers have much to be proud of. It occupies the second place despite the fact that (1) it is only played in the countries of the British Commonwealth of the West Indies, England, Australia, India, Pakistan, South Africa and New Zealand and (2) some of those countries, some people have been excluded from gambling at various times for reasons of race and class. .

However, cricket was still able to survive to become the second most popular sport. This is well illustrated by looking at the development of the game in some of these countries: –

(A) England

English cricket has always involved issues of segregation. The teams were originally made up of amateurs (men) from the upper and middle classes and professionals (players) from the working class.

Cricket has progressed since the days when the men dominated the game. Innovations such as Twenty 20 cricket, public school cricket promotion programs such as “Chance to Shine” and downtown plans have helped to increase the appeal of the game. However, even today cricket in England is considered a middle class sport (it is still called the “gentleman’s game”).


Thousands of schoolchildren never get the chance to play cricket with such off-putting prejudices and preconceptions. Cricket is regularly played in only 10% of English public schools and is the sixth most popular sport. On the other hand, virtually all private schools offer regular cricket with excellent equipment and coaches. Up to the age of 16, around 93% of children in the UK go to public school, so it is clear that many young people are missing out on the opportunity to study. This lack of opportunities transferred to the national team. Today, more than one test team has been taught at independent schools (English Cricket and The Class Barrier, April 9, 2013 by Andrew Thorpe-Apps).

(B) The West Indies

Cricket was introduced by English settlers in the 17th century. They played the game among themselves and the slaves were relegated to mere spectators in the surrounding sugar cane fields where they worked.

If the ball is hit in the reed field, the slaves will retrieve it and in order to impress his master, the slave will try to throw it as quickly and accurately as possible. Sometimes the slave would catch the attention of the master who would invite him to the field near the demarcation line and collect the balls that had been hit for the limit.

west indies

After the abolition of slavery in 1838, black people were sometimes asked to play a limited role as a fast player, as he could use his physical strength. This situation continued until the arrival of Learie Constantine (later Sir Learie Constantine) in 1920.

Learie Constantine was a pioneer in that he was a multi-talented black player who knew how to paddle, play ball and on the court, and had extensive knowledge of the game. He disputed the myth that blacks could not play. only with their physical strength, not with their head. This paved the way for the inclusion of more blacks in the West Indies squad and the appointment of Frank Warrell (later Sir Frank Warrell) in 1960 as West India’s first black captain.

The influx of blacks into western Indian cricket increased the fortunes of the national team who went on to become world champions in the 1980s and 1990s and increased the appeal of the game.

(C) South Africa

Under apartheid, blacks and people of color were officially excluded from the game. Non-white touring teams were also excluded. So in 1970 South Africa canceled an England tour because tourists included Basil de Oliveira, a colored South African playing in England. As a result, South Africa was banned from testing cricket in 1970 and re-established in 1991 with the fall of apartheid and the end of ethnic barriers in South Africa.

South Africa

(D) India

Cricket was transferred to India in the 18th century by British colonialists and dominated by princes during British rule (colonial India) especially after the 1980s of the 19th century.

The princes competed for the best teams and also wanted to assert the strength of the natives by beating their colonial masters in their own game, so they granted patronage to the most talented cricketers regardless of their caste, creed or social background.

After independence in 1947, princely patronage was replaced by corporate control of the game, and companies preferred players from the upper classes because they would not be a burden on the retired company.

This change in the nature of sports sponsorship has been reinforced by the increase in ticket prices at stadiums and the reduction in government funding for cricket in poor areas, pushing the working classes away from cricket and the trend of football and hockey. cheaper.


The change affected the national team, so in 1978 there were only two players who were not of the upper Hindu class and in 1982 they were all except one of the Brahmins or the other upper class (cricket in India: representative stadium of the restrictive province by Poria Majondar, race, sport Identity: struggles for status, 2006).

Despite the exclusion of those excluded from cricket, the game has survived for over 300 years as the most popular game in India. This was largely due to the fact that India has produced in recent years some of the best players in the world like Gavaskar and Tendulkar, the development of limited cricket and the enormous success of the national team over the past 30 years. .

There is no doubt that the popularity of cricket in India and Pakistan with a combined population of over a fifth of the total world population has greatly contributed to making it the second most popular sport after football.

3) Basketball

American invention, basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines and is among the 3 most popular sports in more than 10 countries with a total population of 1.8 billion. 90% of basketball’s money is in the United States, with NBA teams generating more than $ 3.3 billion in revenue. The addition of foreign players to the NBA has made the sport more popular in various countries. (Bleacher Report: Most Popular Team Sports, etc.)


The next few places are difficult to arrange because they differ according to the criteria used.

Analyzing the popularity of different sports is always a difficult task. The development of technology has increased the popularity of the sport and people love the sport for various reasons, whether they are gamers or spectators. The criteria used to measure popularity will only increase, making the task more difficult.

Fortunately, the preference for the aforementioned sports, especially the first two, is so high (regardless of the criteria used) that it makes the task of rating them less difficult.

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