India has produced many world class athletes across a range of disciplines, and the nation’s love of sports is well known, as is the support that fans show for home-grown talent.
To bring you up to speed with the sports scene in India, here is a look at 5 of the most beloved stars that the country has ever produced.
Cricket is the most popular sport in India, so it is no surprise that many of its top players are venerated far and wide. Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the all time greatest Indian cricketer and has a host of records and trophies under his belt.
Perhaps the most impressive achievement that he has to his name is that of being the only professional cricketer of any nationality to have scored a century at an international test on at least 100 occasions.
From beginning his career as a teenager to winning the 2011 World Cup, Tendulkar has cemented himself as a stalwart of Indian sport and will be a hero to millions for years to come. His achievements have also inspired everything from movies and TV shows to games like those found on Casumo casino.
Female sports stars are also revered in India, and Mary Kom is amongst the greats thanks to her abilities as a boxer and her inspirational life story.
Having been crowned the top amateur boxer on the planet on no fewer than five occasions, Kom managed to earn a bronze medal during the Olympic Games back in 2012 and has even gone on to stand as a Member of Parliament, using her platform to promote the causes she believes in. Indeed it is not unusual for sports personalities to enter the world of politics in India, and Kom is one of the youngest to have made the leap.
Taking the tennis world by storm is no easy feat but Sania Miraz has managed it in spite of the fact that the sport is relatively underrepresented within India.
The list of achievements that Miraz has notched up over the years is significant; at one point she was even ranked as the world’s best player in the women’s doubles, with a partnership with Martina Hingis helping her to reach new heights and also command more cash from sponsorship deals and marketing tie-ins.
Following in the footsteps of Sachin Tendulkar is Indian cricket’s latest star player, and his trophy cabinet is definitely heaving. All of this has led to some serious spikes in his income in recent years, to the point that he is amongst the 100 best paid athletes worldwide according to the latest Forbes rankings.
Where Kohli really shines is one day events, which allow him to put his powerful batting capabilities to great use. He has accumulated over 10,000 runs in this context and even took the record for achieving this faster than previous record holder Tendulkar, which is no mean feat.
It has taken some time for India to assert itself in a track and field context, yet one of the athletes who allowed events in this category to gain more attention and momentum was Milkha Singh, a 400 metre specialist.
Singh was celebrated following his gold medal win in this race during the 1958 Commonwealth Games, and at the time he was the first sportsperson from India to achieve such an accolade.
Like many of India’s biggest sporting heroes, Singh came from a poor background but used sport to pull himself up the social ladder and encourage others to do so as well.