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Sports of West Bengal

The people of West Bengal simply love sports. They are passionate about cricket and football, and even in this age of enormous diversity of entertainment options, one can frequently chance upon teams of young teenaged boys playing football with passion in the evenings of Kolkata and rural West Bengal. Cricket and football are undoubtedly the most favourite sports of West Bengal.

Kolkata is one of the major football centres in India and can be regarded as the Mecca of football in India. It houses various football clubs like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammadan Sporting Club, which are famous all over the country. All these clubs have produced and nurtured illustrious footballers over the course of years. Kolkata is home to many famous stadiums and sports clubs which show the inherent sporting culture of its people. Eden Gardens of Kolkata is the famous cricketing ground of India, which can seat a crowd of more than one hundred thousand. Salt Lake Stadium is the third largest, highest-capacity football stadium in the world. However, besides football, Salt Lake Stadium is used for hosting other sporting events too. Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the oldest cricket club in the world outside the UK.

Besides football and cricket, kho kho and kabaddi are also played in the state. Polo and golf are also played in Kolkata since a long time. The Calcutta Polo Club is regarded as the oldest polo club in the world. Also, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club is the oldest of its kind outside of Britain.

However, sports of West Bengal are not only concentrated in Kolkata. Sporting events of national and international levels are also being held in Durgapur, Kharagpur and Siliguri. West Bengal has produced a number of illustrious sportspersons of national and international repute. They include the stylish left-handed batsman and the former cricket captain of the Indian team, Saurav Ganguly, Olympic bronze medallist in tennis, Leander Paes, and the chess grandmaster Dibyendu Barua. Dola Banarjee is a player of international calibre in the field of archery, whereas Mantu Ghosh and Poulomi Ghatak are famous table tennis players of the state, who have earned laurels for the country. Jyotirmoyee Sikdar was an internationally renowned athlete hailing from West Bengal, who after retirement from active sports, have turned to politics.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/12

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