Sports Landscape in Pakistan

Pakistan is a sports-loving nation. Sport is a part of Pakistan’s culture and hundreds of thousands across the country enjoy it. The culture of Pakistan itself embedded with a rich history of sports that were adventurous and daring. Sports like kabaddi and horse pegging are not just sports. They are a symbol of pride and strength for those who play. Since the time of Mughal till the time of British raj till the birth of Pakistan, sports have evolved in the region and right now. Hence, the country has a rich sports landscape.

History of Sports in Pakistan

The Ministry of Education founded the Pakistan Sports Board in 1962. PBS, a corporate body with the mission of fostering and establishing uniform levels of competition of sports in Pakistan. The sports that are comparable to international standards. They are also in charge of regulating and managing sports on a national level. Since the turn of the century, the size of Pakistan\’s teams has grown. The number of events they compete in has also grown, such as the; Olympic Games, Asian Games, World Games, and Commonwealth Games has a.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of Pakistan, was a huge sports fan. Jinnah understood the importance of sports in the advancement of nations and the installation of discipline in the masses. From April 23rd to 25th, 1948, the first National Games took place in Karachi\’s Polo Ground. East Pakistani athletes and officials, as well as all of West Pakistan\’s integrated provincial divisions, took part in these games.

The country has been holding down over the years due to a lack of investment in athletics. Many of Pakistan\’s services are substandard, allowing it to lag behind other countries. The young state had been able to participate successfully in its early years. However, during the late 1970s, the government had stopped investing in sports. Therefore the nation could no longer compete. This pattern has shifted since the late 1990s. Investments were made and most of the federations are now run by individuals.  Such individuals seek to propel Pakistani athletes ahead. This has brought in several international events to the country, including 1996 cricket and the world cup final. This also includes multiple hockey and cricket series.

Sports in Pakistan

As discussed earlier, Pakistan has made its mark in several sporting fields. This includes a variety of sports. The majority of these sports are played nationwide.


In Pakistan, cricket is the most common sport. Almost every district and neighbourhood have a cricket team, where people begin playing at a young age. Pakistan has won international cricket tournaments such as the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Pakistan also won the 2009 International Cricket Council World Twenty20, and the 2017 International Cricket Council Champions Trophy.

Aaqib Javed, Ramiz Raja, Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Muhammad Yousaf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, and Imran Khan are some of Pakistan\’s most famous cricketers. Imran Khan is among the ones decorating the International Cricket Council\’s Hall of Fame. Shahid Afridi aka Lala aka boom boom is known for his blasting performance and fastest century. Shoaib Akhtar is known for his fast bowling. Currently, Babar Azam, Pakistan cricket team captain is on the news for his extraordinary batting. Recently, the number 1 ODI batsman title was given to Azam.


Pakistan doesn\’t have a notable football team. However, Pakistan is the largest manufacturer of footballs. The FIFA matches use Pakistani manufactured footballs. Football is not that famous in Pakistan but recently has gained clout in urban areas. Parts of Baluchistan and Swat valley are the areas that provide most football players to Pakistan. The country has its own Pakistan Football Federation. Since 2004 it is conducting Pakistan premier league. Notable footballers include Muhammad Essa (who currently is the head coach of the national football team), Zeeshan Rehman (player-manager for the Hong Kong premier team) and Haroon Yusuf.

Field Hockey

Field hockey is Pakistan’s national sport. Pakistan\’s national field hockey team has three Olympic gold medals and has won the Hockey World Cup four times, a World Record. It still holds the record for the most Asian gold medals and is the only Asian team to have won three times the coveted Champions Trophy. Pakistan\’s field hockey team is known as the world\’s best squads. Waseem Ahmad, the current World Record holder for most matches, Mohammed Saqlain, and Sohail Abbas, the record holder for most goals, are among the notable players. Unfortunately, due to the years of negligence and incompetence, the quality and performance of the national hockey team and federation have degraded.


Ask anyone in Pakistan regarding squash and the first name that will come up will be Jahangir Khan. Due to its playing environment, it is not a famous sport in the country. However, it has marked its name in squash as one of the most successful countries. It is pretty famous in Pakistan due to names like Jahangir khan, Carla Khan, Hashim Khan, Torsam Khan, Mobillah Khan, Qamar Zaman and Jansher Khan. They have won 14 world championships. This has made Pakistan the most decorated squash nation on the planet. Pakistani squash players have won the World Open 17 times and the British Open 12 times, the most of any nation. Recently, the Pakistan Air Force gave the opportunity to operate the squash activities and have conducted several international events in Pakistan.


Polo is a common sport in Pakistan, with many major competitions held each year. The Shandur Polo Tournament, held every June at the world\’s highest polo ground, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chitral and Gilgit, Pakistan. The Uprising Day Tournament in Gilgit in early November and the Pakistan Independence Day Tournament in Skardu are both important tournaments for the season. Pakistan has a federation to supervise polo activities and has produced notable players such as Murad Ismail, Raja Sami Ullah, Raza Muhammad Ali Khan Bangash, and Hissam Ali Haider.

Tent Pegging

Tent pegging is a popular sport in Pakistan, especially in the provinces of Punjab, KPK, and parts of Sindh and Balochistan. The Pakistan Equestrian and Tent Pegging Federation, established in 2014. It is the country\’s highest governing body for the sport. Pakistanis participate in a variety of international competitions, including the World Cup, which began in 2014. It has given us notable names like Malik Ata Muhammad Khan (Chief of Kot Fateh Khan), Khan Qamar Zaman Khan, Mian Javed Akhtar Gujjar, Amer Munawar, Shahbaz Qamar, Ch Rashid Mehmood, Haroon Bandial, Ashraf Hayat Gondal and Raja Zarrar Sajjad.

Other Sports Played in Pakistan

Moreover, other sports played in the country include Roller Skating, Basketball, Billiards and Snooker, Kabaddi, Motorsport, Mountaineering, Tennis, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Gulli Danda and Swimming. Pakistan (Mohammad Yusuf) has won a world championship in snooker in 1994. Kabaddi is also famous with a mass following in Punjab and having a world cup to its name in 2020.

In terms of mountaineering, Pakistan has a whole northern region dedicated to that. People from Swat, Hunza and Gilgit are professional in mountain climbing. In tennis, Pakistan has produced several renown names like Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, Muhammad Hai and Haroon Rahim. In wrestling, Pakistan was not behind as it is known as the land of Gama Pehalwan and Muhammad Akhtar who brought fame to the country.

Lastly, with all these sports and name, we can say that the country is a land rich with sporting talent and has the iron to produce notable names. Pakistan can ace every sport, only if the right attention and administration are provided to that sports and its federation.


Muhammad Abdullah Kayani is a budding scholar with a keen interest in current affairs and news reporting. With a passion for uncovering and analyzing events shaping our world, he aims to inform and engage audiences through insightful commentary and diligent reporting.

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