Amazing Facts About Indian Sports

  1. Chess was originally named “Chaturanga” or “Chaturaangam” meaning intelligent or Smart. This game was invented in India.
  2. Sachin Tendulkar fielded for Pakistan once – Ahead of a Test series in 1987, India and Pakistan were playing an exhibition match where Imran Khan’s team was short on fielders. It was then that a 13-year-old Sachin was asked to field for Pakistan.
  3. The Most awaited T20- IPL cricket series also known as India’s “Indian Premier League” is the 2nd-plushest sports league after the “National Basket Ball Association” /“NBA” of the United States.
  4. PT Usha started her career with a scholarship of Rs 250 – Usha had faced poverty and ill health as a child. But her talent won her a scholarship of Rs 250 per month, allowing her to study in a sports school in Kannur,
  5. Kerala, where she trained and eventually became the “Queen of Track and Field” in India.
  6. Playing cards often called a “Gambler’s delight’ was introduced in Eastern India and surprisingly first introduced as a family game before becoming a confluence for gambling joints
  7. Major Dhyan Chand has a statue with 4 hands and 4 sticks in Austria – Known as the Wizard of Hockey, the legend was honoured by Austrian citizens in Vienna. They made a statue of him with 4 hands and 4 sticks to depict his magnificent skill and control with the ball.
  8. The 1st Indian to have won the coveted Wimbledon Jr. Singles is Ramanathan Krishnan;He won over Ashley Cooper in the finals.
  9. Rahul Dravid has a “Wall” dedicated to him – In front of the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru stands a wall made of 10,000 bricks, commemorating Dravid’s landmark of crossing 10,000 runs. The wall inaugurated by
  10. Sachin Tendulkar also has an electronic meter displaying his total runs which halted at 13,288 after he retired.
    The 1st Indian Women athlete to have been listed as a medal winner in World Athletics Championship is Anju
  11. Bobby George. She entered record books when after winning bronze medal in Long-Jump in 2003(World Championships in in Paris).
  12. Vishwanathan Anand was the first sportsperson to win the Padma Vibhushan – The Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award given in India. Anand received this honour in 2007, making him the first sportsperson in Indian history to accomplish this.
  13. The 1st time India joined the Olympics Games was in 1900, strangely it took 38 years before they brought home the first Olympic medal.
  14. India won its 1stGold Medal in Olympic in the year 1928 in hockey. We defeated Netherlands by a roaring 3-0 in the finals.
  15. IM Vijayan scored one of the fastest goals in international football history – The 3-time Indian Player of the Year and the Arjuna Award winner scored a goal in 11 seconds against Bhutan in the 1999 SAF Games. It is one of the fastest goals in international football.
  16. Kapil Dev never missed a match because of injuries – In 184 innings as a batsman in Tests, not once was he run out. Such was his fitness that in his 16-year career spanning 131 matches, he did not miss a single match due to injury or fitness issue.
  17. Abhinav Bindra’s career almost ended before he won the Olympic gold – In 2006, after the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, the shooter had a career-threatening spinal injury but went through vigorous rehabilitation to change his posture. He won gold in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 after overcoming this injury.
    Mary Kom’s family found out about her boxing interest through a newspaper – As boxing was not considered to be an appropriate sport for a woman in her family, Mary Kom tried to hide her passion for the sport. But after she won the Manipur state championship, a newspaper published her photo which her father saw.
  18. Sushil Kumar’s father was a DTC bus driver – Even though he had a small income, his father, Diwan Singh, supported Sushil with his dreams and ensured that he did not face any troubles while pursuing his career in wrestling.
  19. Vijender Singh is called the Indian David Beckham – He earned this title thanks to his looks. Apart from being a successful boxer, his good looks prompted the foreign media to give him this title.
  20. Leander Paes is the oldest player in Open era Tennis to win a Grand Slam – After winning the Men’s Doubles title at the 2013 US Open with his partner Radek Stepanek, Paes became the oldest player to win a Grand Slam Title in the Open era (post 1968).
  21. Dhanraj Pillay has no exact record of his goals and is the only Indian to have played 4 World Cups, 4 Olympics, 4 Champions Trophies and 4 Asian games – One of the best players in hockey history, Pillay played in all these tournaments between 1990 and 2004. Under him India won the Asian Games in 1998 and 2003. Another interesting fact is that there is no exact record of the number of goals he scored, but he and other statisticians claim it is around 170.
  22. Baichung Bhutia was the first Asian born player to score in the English league – On 15th April, 2000, he scored for his English club Bury against Chesterfield. This was his first goal for the club, making him the first Asian-born player to score in an English league
  23. Rahul Dravid is the first non-Australian cricketer to have spoken at Sir Donald Bradman’s oration – In December 2011, Rahul Dravid went to Canberra to give a speech at Sir Donald Bradman’s oration. He was the first non-Australian cricketer in history to have spoken there.
  24. Geet Sethi is the only cueist to score 1000+ breaks in billiards and 147 in snooker – Geet Sethi’s break of 1276 was unbeaten for 15 years and his 147 points break in snooker was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records. He is the only player in the world to hold both records.
  25. Mountaineer Bachendri Pal also crossed Ganga from Haridwar to Calcutta on a raft – Apart from being the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, she also led a team of 18 women in 3 rafts which crossed the mighty Ganges river from Haridwar to Calcutta covering a distance of 2155 kms in 39 days.
  26. Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s family missed his Olympic moment due to cable strike – While Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won the silver medal at the Athens Olympics, his family could not view the magical moment because of a cable operator’s strike. His wife got updates from a DD reporter over the phone.
  27. The favourite pastime game of Snakes & Ladders originated in India by a famous poet names Gyaydevji . He called it “Parambadham”
  28. The famous game Polo initiated and parentedfrom India. However this has been modified by overseas countries.
  29. 1951 – 1962: Indian Football team’s glorious years – The 1950s and 1960s were the glorious years for the Indian Football team and it ranked among the top 20 teams of the world. Under the tutelage of the legendary Syed Abdul Rahim, they won the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games, and finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics.During the team’s peak period, they were automatically advanced to play in the 1950 FIFA World Cup. But they could not participate in the games due to lack of resources, financial constraints and other internal issues. Let’s tap the hidden talent in our country and bring back Indian football into the league?
  30. 1952 – Khashaba Jadhav, the first Indian to win an individual Olympic medal for India – Khashaba Jadhav won a bronze medal at the 1952 Summer Olympics and became the first Indian to win a medal at this platform. His bright future in wrestling was visible ever since he won his first wrestling bout at the age of eight in just two minutes against a local champion wrestler. He won his Olympic medal after defeating players from Mexico, Canada and Germany. Unlike today, when players are welcomed with a lot of media attention, Jadhav was just greeted by his fellow villagers after the remarkable feat!
  31. 1958 – Mihir Sen crossed the English Channel and became the first Indian – Mihir Sen Known as the first Indian to conquer the English Channel from Dover to Calais in 1958, Mihir also created history by being the only man to swim the five oceans in one calendar year in 1966. By the time of his death at the age of 66 in 1997, Sen also had his name recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for long distance swimming. Enough reasons to feel proud of this amazing sportsman.
  32. 1960 – Milkha Singh broke the 400m Olympic record but lost the bronze by just 0.1 seconds – Who doesn’t know about this Flying Sikh’s contribution to Indian sports? And when we talk about some of India’s most memorable sporting moments, we cannot skip Singh’s performance in the 1960 Olympics where he broke the 400m Olympic record but still lost the bronze by just 0.1 seconds. He also won Gold medals in the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games.
  33. 1975 – India won World Cup Hockey, Malaysia – In this historical victory against Pakistan on 15th March 1975, India won the Hockey World Cup held at Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia with a score of 2-1. Players like Ajit Pal, who was the captain of the team, and Aslam Sher Khan played a crucial role in this victory. India has 8 Olympic Gold Medals under its name which is a great achievement in itself.
  34. 1980 – Praksh Padukone wins All England Badminton Title – After registering a victory over Liem Swie King of Indonesia, Padukone became the first Indian to win the All England Badminton championships. One of the finest badminton players produced by India, Padukone was awarded the Arjuna Award and also the Padma Shri for his achievements. He has won the nationals championships for a record nine times.
  35. 1982 – India’s Golf stars win Gold at the Asian Games – Indian Golf teams brought India into the spotlight by winning gold in the 1982 and silver in the 2006 Asian Games respectively. ‘Bunny’ Laxman Singh, Rajiv Mohta, Rishi Narain and Amit Luthra represented the Indian Golf team. Apart from these amazing victories, Jeev Milha Singh’s contributions to this sport cannot be ignored as he became the first player from India to join the European Tour in 1998. He has won three European Tour Titles, four Japan Golf Tour titles and six Asian Tour tiles, after defeating some of the best players in the world.
  • 1983 – Cricket World Cup Victory. Repeated in 2011.India created a much talked about history when it won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983 by defeating the West Indies. In the nail-biting final, India lost the toss and was asked to bat first against WI, which arguably had the world’s best bowling attack at the time. India managed to score just 183 runs overall and were in low spirits. “Team, if this is not a winning total its definitely a fighting total,” Kapil Dev, the then captain of the team said. And, India did put up a brave fight, defeating the opponent by 43 runs in a remarkable way. Highlights of the match

  • Apart from the 1983 victory, India created history once again by winning its second World Cup title in 2011 by defeating Sri Lanka at the Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai. India became the first country ever to win the World Cup on its home ground. The much-awaited victory won millions of hearts and was certainly an emotional and proud moment for the entire nation. Remember the last over? Here it is!

  • 1999 – The amazing duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi – The Paes – Bhupathi duo was unbeatable and created history whenever they played together. They reached the finals of the men’s doubles in all four grand slams and the ATP Masters in 1999 and also won the French Open and Wimbeldon. Paes’ amazing performance also took India to the semi finals of the Davis Cup in 1993.
  • 2000 – Karnam Malleswari’s glorious performance at the Olympics – Malleswari wrote yet another golden chapter in Indian sports history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. Malleswari bagged a bronze in the 69 kg category of the weight-lifting championship at Sydney Olympics in 2000. She started the competition with a brave lead where she entered the competition at 105 kgs, while other lifters opted for a 100 kgs weight, and she later went up to 110 kgs over the next two attempts. Watch for yourself how effortless she made it look!

  • 2000 – Viswanathan Anand wins the World Chess Championship – Once nicknamed the “Lightning Kid”, Anand marked a remarkable victory by winning the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000. He became the first Indian to win a world chess championship. He again won the FIDE championship in 2007. He has won world championships five times and Lubomir Kavalek, the great chess player, once called him one of the most versatile world champions ever.
  • 2003 – Anju Bobby George’s remarkable long jump – Anju Bobby George created history and became the first Indian medalist at the World Athletics Championships, when she took the long jump (6.70 m) bronze in Paris in 2003. Later, in 2005, she won a gold medal at the IAAF World Athletics, which she considers her best performance. Her success brought her from the 61st place in 2001 to the 6th place in the world rankings in 2003. She holds the current Indian national record in long jump with her personal best of 6.83 meters.
  • 2004 – The unbeaten Indian Kabbaddi team marks its first win at the first Kabaddi World Cup – Did you know that India has won all five Kabaddi world cups played till now? How amazing is that! With the recent 2014 Asian Games win by both the men and women Kabaddi teams, India has marked its unbeaten territory in this sport. Apart from 2014, India has won Gold medals in the Asian Games in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.
  • 2004 – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s much talked about Silver medal – When India’s ace shooter Rathore bagged a silver medal after scoring 179 points at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, it created quite a stir nationwide. He gave India its first silver medal in an individual event at the Olympics.
  • 2005 – Pankaj Advani won the World Billiards Championships –
    National snooker star Pankaj Advani created a sensation when he won the IBSF World Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, and became the first playe to achieve a “grand double” by winning both time and point formats. He also won the World Championship in 2003 at the age of 18 and became the youngest Indian to win the title. He has eight world titles under his name so far.
  • 2007 – Six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh – Who can forget the amazing six sixes in one over by Yuvraj Singh in the T20 Cricket World Cup 2007 match against England? Singh’s incredible batting against Stuart Broad was a treat for cricket fans across the globe. The first ball was hit hard and sent to cow corner while the second ball went to backward square leg followed by four other amazing sixes. His incredible innings won him a record of making a half century in just 12 balls. Singh’s incredible batting paid off and India won the match (also becoming the first T20 champions).
    Watch this video to relive the amazing over.

  • 2008 – Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal at the 2008 Olympic – Abhinav Bindra’s glorious gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle shooting competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics marked India’s arrival in the international sports scene apart from cricket. This splendid victory not only brought India in the limelight but also made Bindra the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games. Check out the gold winning moment here:

  • 2009 – Saina Nehwal becomes the first Indian woman to win a Super Series Tournament – Saina Nehwal is among those very few players who have brought badminton into the limelight. She became the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament as she grabbed the much deserved title after defeating a higher ranked Lin Wang from China in Jakarta.
    Saina Nehwal also made India immensely proud when she won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics. After the victory, instead of celebrating the victory in the court, Nehwal showed a more humble side and first went to the Chinese player who was retired from the match after an injury.
  • 2012 – Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th century and retirement – The “God” of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, has always been the country’s pride. At each match he played throughout his career, the entire nation kept faith in him to lead India to a victory. In 2012, Tendulkar proved his amazing batting capabilities yet again as he became the first batsman to make a 100 international centuries. Another emotional moment in the history of Indian cricket was Tendulkar’s retirement. Millions of fans shed tears as the master blaster bid goodbye to his 24 year long cricketing career. Take a peek at Tendulkar’s retirement speech that made everyone emotional –

  • 2014 – Mary Kom’s “golden” come back – Five time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom captured everyone’s heart with her first Asian Games gold medal in the women’s 48-51 kg boxing. The victory was even more special for her as she had returned to the ring after a break of two years in which she delivered her third baby. Three cheers for the strong come back!
  • Kamaljeet Sandhu is the first Indian woman who had won the Asian games gold in 400meter running race in the year 1970, she had completed the race in 57.3 seconds.
  • Talimeren ao is the first captain of the India’s first football captain joined In the year 1948.
  • Durand cup is the oldest football competition in India which was first held in the year 1888 and it was named after the founder of the game Sir, Mortimer Durand.
  • Bhausaheb Nimbalkar could not break the world record of 452 runs scored by Bradman because he had to go for his marriage. Actually, he had made 432 runs before the final day and he had to go for his marriage on the last day. So, he could not break the record.
  • Sourav Ganguly is the only Indian player to hit a ton in the knockout match of a world cup
  • Mohammad Azharuddin is the only batsman to score three centuries in the first three test matches.
  • Ravi Shastri is the only Indian Cricketer to have batted on all five days of a test match.
  • Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi was the only Indian Cricketer to have played for two countries. He played for both India and England. (He is the grandfather of Saif Ali Khan.)
  • Indian Team is the only one to have won world cups of 60 overs, 50 overs and 20 overs.

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