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India's sporting landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation, shifting from a cricket-centric focus to a diverse powerhouse across various disciplines. This evolution is driven by a confluence of factors, including the emergence of new talents, increased Government support, and a changing cultural mind-set that now embraces sports beyond mere recreation.

While cricket remains deeply entrenched in Indian culture, there's been a notable surge in the promotion and adoption of other sports. Traditional games like kabaddi and kho-kho are experiencing a revival, while sports such as badminton, wrestling, and athletics have produced world-class athletes who've captured global attention.

Government Support to Sports Sector

Government initiatives like the "Khelo India Program" and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) are pivotal in nurturing grassroots talents by providing financial assistance, training facilities, and exposure to competitions. Over 298 sports infrastructure projects have been approved under the “Khelo India Programme”. Incentives for winners and corporate sponsorships further motivate athletes and ensure financial stability.

Indian athletes have achieved remarkable success globally, notably at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games, showcasing the nation's growing competitiveness in sports. This reflects a cultural shift towards sports, recognized for its holistic benefits by parents and educators. Professional leagues across various sports have made sports a viable career option and entertainment source.

The Indian Government's commitment to becoming a global sporting powerhouse is evident through mega-infrastructure projects and public-private partnerships driving investments. The sports economy is thriving, with India emerging as a major exporter of sports equipment.

The Government's proactive approach includes establishing national centres of excellence and training facilities nationwide, with a substantial capital expenditure of $1.1 billion for sports infrastructure development. 100% FDI is allowed in Sports Goods manufacturing.

Sports as an Industry Segment

The surge in Indian sports can be quantified by impressive statistics: 107 medals, the highest tally ever, at the 2023 Asian Games; 318 sports goods manufactured domestically; and over 298 sports infrastructure projects have been approved under Government schemes. The sports goods market is projected to reach $6.6 billion by 2027, with India emerging as a major exporter of various sports equipment.

The Indian sports goods market is estimated to grow to $ 6.6 Billion by 2027. India is the major exporter of table tennis, tennis, badminton, tennis balls, and inflatable balls. The export value of bicycles and its parts from India amounted to over $ 461 Million in the fiscal year of 2022.

·       There are 106 projects and $2.39 billion worth of opportunity in sports sector in India.

·       With around 46 promoters and 94 government projects have been developed so far.

·       In the state of Sikkim $314.35 million has been invested in developing sports complexes cum academies.

·       $231.18 million developed under “Khelo India” in the states of Andaman and Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur and Meghalaya.

·       $232  million has been invested in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in two separate Sports City Development Projects

·        ICC Initiatives:

In its centenary year, the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has partnered with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and ARIVAA Sports to inaugurate the "Bengal Pro T20 League" aimed at benefiting cricket fraternity in Bengal. ICC has signed a tripartite MoU with CAB and ARIVAA Sports for a period of 3 to 10 years to promote the Bengal Pro T20 League through its extensive network. This league marks the first time that 8 teams for both men and women will compete, with matches scheduled at iconic venues such as Eden Gardens and Jadavpur University.

In the past, ICC has organized various sports events, including the ICC-RCGC Open Golf Championship Tournament held from November 29th to 28th, 2021, at the RCGC club in Kolkata. The tournament saw participation from over 125 professional golfers and 100 amateur golfers, followed by a prize distribution ceremony.

The Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), a youth wing of ICC, has also been actively involved in organizing sports events. The YLF Cricket Tournament, held annually since 2022, takes place at the Spring Club Kolkata, featuring 8 teams comprising both men and women. Similarly, the YLF Bowling Tournament, hosted by YLF ICC for the first time on March 9th, 2024, at "THAT PLACE" witnessed the participation of 8 teams comprising both genders, followed by a prize distribution ceremony.

These initiatives reflect ICC's commitment to promoting sports and providing platforms for the youth to showcase their talents and engage in healthy competition.