There are 10 reasons why cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan. Subhan Ghani thinks about why cricket is a national craze for Pakistanis, and why it hides their original national game in terms of popularity.
When did cricket start in Pakistan?
Cricket in Pakistan originated in the mid-nineteenth century when British introduced them to the subcontinent before their secession from India. There are many reasons why people play and watch cricket more than any other sport. Pakistan’s national sport is actually hockey, but instead, cricket is played by people from all over the country and is more popular as a spectator sport.
The main reasons for the popularity of cricket in Pakistan over all other sports are as follows.
1) Cricket in Pakistan is cheap & affordable
Cricket is a game that can be played with a variety of instruments. If you talk about a boy under 7 years old, he will play with a plastic ball and bat. When he reaches the age of 12, he will start playing tennis with a tape ball. In Pakistan, tape ball cricket is mostly played by teenagers and even some older people as it requires only a taped ball, a bat and a wicket. Tape Ball cricket does not cause serious injuries like hardball cricket. Hardball cricket requires a special ground, uniform, spikes, bat, hardball, pad, helmet, belly protector, thigh pad, chest protector, etc., so more money is needed for this equipment. For a developing country, foreign countries with such prices are much cheaper than better developed countries. If you are talking about the best tape ball bat, you can buy it within 3 within, and a good taped tennis ball with tape will be 1 and a wicket 2. So, 22 players can play the whole game in about 12 for. And after every game, you don’t have to buy everything again, it can be used for many months or even a year if there is nothing wrong with it. And yet, if you don’t have that much money to buy a wicket, you can replace it with a brick, or wooden log, or even a chalk sign that is mostly used in street cricket. But, all other sports, such as hockey, squash, tennis, basketball, badminton, etc., require expensive equipment, a specific court or field, and will not meet the needs of many people’s sports at any given time.
2) Cricket Can be played everywhere
The play area for cricket depends on the level of cricket of the players. If we talk about the beginners, they mostly play in parks and streets where tap ball cricket is usually played. Then come the amateur players who only play on the ground (big) which consists of the cement pit of tape ball cricket. And then there are the professionals who play cricket in stadiums and special grounds with a professional pitch. These players play mostly on weekends. They often book grounds or stadiums from cricket academies and pay different amounts day and night with flood flood light charges. Recently, many private playoffs have been introduced in major cities, where you can play cricket in a specific area and pay per hour. Most of these playlists include carpeted pit pitches for cricket. However, other sports such as hockey, squash, tennis, basketball, badminton, etc. are limited to a particular playing field or court.
3) International Sports Equipment Industry – Sialkot
In Pakistan, Sialkot is called the ‘City of Sporting Goods’. In Sialkot, there are many industries that manufacture sports equipment such as different bats, different types of hair, football, basketball, hockey balls and so on. In addition, the goods are exported to European countries, the United States, the Arabian Gulf and some Asian countries. This equipment is used by international organizations such as FIFA, Olympics, various football leagues, etc. Because of the local export quality sports industries, sports equipment is available cheaply and easily in Pakistan. Most of the top brands get their sporting goods and accessories from these industries, so the stores of these brands are easily available in the country. Peak brands include Rebook, Adidas, Nike, Slazenger and Puma.
4) Cricket is Highly Sponsored
Because cricket has been played, watched and loved all over the country, it has many sponsors and stakeholders. In addition, Pakistan’s largest mega event, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is a platform where you can sponsor multiple teams for multiple teams from cosmetic companies, mobile and telecommunications companies, food and beverage industries. See: But there are many big industries that sponsor the national team like Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Lease etc. These industries also compensate players for their company’s advertising. There are also many banks that sponsor many domestic tournaments throughout the year. Therefore, in Pakistan, there is no other sport that has such a large sponsorship than cricket. This engagement with the giant consumer keeps the public at the forefront of consciousness and maintains its profile as the biggest sport in the country.
5) Cricket Rivalry – Pakistan & India
From British rule in the subcontinent to an independent nation, Pakistan has had bad relations with India from the very beginning. During independence, many people were killed in both countries, which led to anger and hatred against each other. The Pak-India cricket match is the most watched, heartwarming and stressful match that the whole world watches. This pressure is due to the high expectations of the people towards the players. However, if the players perform well, they will be rewarded more than enough. But if, unfortunately, he does not live up to expectations, then his whole life will be criticized. The Ashes (Australia and England) are an example of this hostility. This enmity also plays an important role in paying for the patriotic individual, for his country.
6) Cricketing Heroes
There are many national cricketers who are heroes in Pakistan. To see a beginner, there must be a player whom he considers an idol. These cricketers include Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, saqlain Mushtaq, Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Ahmed, but you don’t see such great legends in other sports. There may be one or two outs like Jahangir Khan, but cricket has so far provided more sports heroes than any other sport.
In Pakistan, cricket is not only considered as a sport, but also as a whole profession. If a child wants to take an interest in cricket and has a good set of skills and abilities, he goes for cricket. That is why some players are unable to speak English because most players are illiterate because they pay more attention to cricket than their studies. But there are also players who are masters in both fields. For example, Imran Khan (great all-rounder with a degree in political science from Oxford University), and Misbah-ul-Haq (great batsman and a great mathematician),
Nowadays, cricket has become more modern with the introduction of various formats such as T20 and T10 cricket which increases the speed of the game. Because of this development, cricket needs more fitness and agility in fielding than it did 100 years ago. This has opened the door to more and more athletes trying to get into cricket. Also, if you are a good cricketer, you should not worry about retirement. You can become a coach (like Mushtaq Ahmed, Waqar Younis, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Thaqleen Mushtaq) or a commentator (like Rameez Raja, Wasim Akram), open a cricket academy, become a talk show analyst, open a brand (Like Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal) or open a YouTube channel for comments (like Shoaib Akhtar, Rameez Raja, Thaqleen Mushtaq, etc.). Pakistan also encourages cricket players to participate in various foreign leagues such as Big Bash, County Cricket, T20 Leagues etc. Even if a player does not play for his country, he can play in various domestic competitions with compensation for various government departments like railways, gas pipelines, airlines (PIA), banks, etc. With all these factors in mind, many people choose cricket as a professional career.
8) Cricket is promoted at all Levels
In Pakistan, cricket is promoted at every level of education. At the school level, there are many intra-school and inter-school tournaments where a player can easily decide his skills and abilities. There are also many intra-college and inter-college championships where you can register your external team for the tournament. In addition, many good universities offer such tournaments and matches. Pakistani players are recruited through a whole selection process that starts from academy cricket, then club cricket, domestic cricket to international cricket. There are also local trials where you can showcase your talents, for example, Lahore Qalandars conduct annual trials with the best coaches and then introduce the player to the PSL after a tournament of players from different cities and villages. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf are the best examples of players coming from such trials.
9) Cricket Academies
In Pakistan, there are many cricket academies where one can get quality coaching to become a professional. For a young teenager, he goes to school in the morning and then goes to these academies in the evening for training, usually from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. The cricket academy is mostly owned by international cricket professionals and former cricketers like Abdul Qadir, Aleem Dar, etc. After finding such a standard player with immense talent and expertise, they recommend trials to the coaches of the national team. Therefore, whoever is talented and consistent will be selected and he will remain in the national team as long as he does not perform well. There is also a National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore where players conduct practice sessions and fitness training with the coaching staff of cricket professionals. The emergence of such academies has made cricket one of the most widely played sports after the lower level. This potential path is not only in other sports, so as an important child or parent, this is the most obvious root available to you for the success of sports.
10) No Discrimination – cricket for all
Cricket is a game where players are understood only by their techniques, abilities and skills. The team may include a doctor, an engineer, a businessman, a student, a teacher, a servant, a sweeper, etc., usually two to three players, and everyone else is involved. So it will compensate the player who did not have enough money to buy his own equipment, he or she can use another player’s kit. Moreover, there is no racial or color discrimination among the people playing cricket in Pakistan, which cannot be said in every sphere of daily life.
Cricket is most played, watched and watched in Pakistan. No other game can compete with the spirit of the people. You can see cricket is played in tape ball, professional hardball, street cricket or even play in arenas. One thing that is permanent is the enduring love of the Pakistani people for the game.