Sports info

Sport in Bangladesh

Sport in Bangladesh is a popular form of entertainment as well as an essential part of Bangladeshi culture. Cricket is the most popular sport in Bangladesh. Ha-du-du is the national sport of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the top 10 cricketing nation of the world and have regularly qualified for World cup since 1999, the Country achieved arguably their greatest heights in Cricket when they defeated three of top-rated teams in 2015 Cricket World Cup to qualify for the quarterfinals. In 2015, they white-washed Pakistan and clinched the series by 3-0 and in another major achievement they won a series against India by 2-1 and in the same year they beat South Africa 2–1 in an ODI series and cemented their spot in Champions Trophy 2017. Traditional sports like Athletics, Swimming, Ha-du-du, Boli Khela, Lathi Khela are mostly played in the rural areas while foreign sports like hockey, volleyball, handball, golf etc. are more popular among the urban folks. The National Sports Council (NSC) is the governing body to control all the sports federations and councils in the country and is responsible to the ministry of youth and sports. There are a total of 42 different sports federations affiliated with the NSC.[1] Bangladesh Games is the largest domestic multi-sport tournament in the country where athletes and sports teams from all the districts participate.


A Ha-du-du match at 2006 Asian Games.
Ha-du-du is recognized as the national sport in Bangladesh.[2] The sport is played all through the country. Bangladesh has been regularly participating in Asian Games for Ha-du-du. However, the recent rise of other sports has led to the decline in its popularity. Bangladesh was once considered one of the top sides to play against in the world but has now been weakening due to lack of funds and other reasons.

Main article: Cricket in Bangladesh
Cricket is the most popular sport in the country. Its popularity rose after the national team won the ICC Trophy in 1997 and for the first time qualified for the Cricket World Cup in 1999. In 2000, Bangladesh became a full member of International Cricket Council which allowed it to play Test cricket. Bangladesh regularly hosts many international One Day matches, Test matches and Twenty20 Internationals. In 2011, Bangladesh hosted the 2011 Cricket World Cup along with India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh was also elected to host the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Bangladesh Cricket Board is the premier governing body to manage the development of the sport in the country.

In 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, Bangladesh beat England and reached the quarter finals for the second time. However, they were knocked out in the quarter final against India. Bangladesh also reached the semifinals of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, held in England and Wales, but lost to India again in the semis. The Bangladesh women’s team beat India in the 2018 Asia Cup Finals to become only the second team after six-time winners India to lift the trophy.

On 9 February 2020, the Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team won the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup held in South Africa after beating India in a nail-biting final. This was Bangladesh’s first win in an ICC event at any level.

Main article: Football in Bangladesh
Throughout history, football is popular sport in Bangladesh after cricket.[3] Although it is under neglect from both the government and authorities including the country’s football federation, known as Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

In the past, Bangladesh were a formidable team in Asia but in recent times the standard of Bangladeshi football has degraded due to mismanagement, lack of support. The decrease in people’s interest has affected to the football’s popularity. The 80s and 90s saw a huge rise in popularity for football and it was considered to be the most popular sport in the country. The three traditional Dhaka League giants Mohammedan, Abahani Limited Dhaka and Brothers Union had massive fan bases all over the country. The biggest game in Bangladeshi club football is the Dhaka Derby between Mohammedan and Abahani, and in the during the majority of the 80s, their fierce rivalry produced numerous talents for the national team. The domestic competitions helped the popularity of footballs skyrocket.[4] The national team also participated in the 1980 AFC Asian Cup, becoming only the second South Asian team to do so.[5] There are more football tournaments are organized in and outside Dhaka than any other sports and football fever grips the nation during every FIFA World Cup.[6]

On 4 November 2018, Bangladesh national under-15 football team won the 2018 SAFF U-15 Championship, defeating Pakistan national under-15 football team in the final.[7]

Hockey has been one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh. It comes right after Cricket and football considering the popularity. However, lack of responsible officials and maladministration has led this sport to decline as well. Bangladesh, even though, regularly participates in the Hockey Asia Cup and also hosted its edition of 1985. The Bangladesh Hockey Federation, the national governing body for the sport, every year organizes some domestic competitions in the country, most notably the Premier Division Hockey League.

Chess is a popular indoor game in Bangladesh and the country has given birth to many talented chess players. Bangladeshi chess player Niaz Murshed is the first Grandmaster to emerge from South Asia in 1987.[8] The Bangladesh Chess Federation has become a member of the FIDE in 1979. Every year it arranges some 15 to 20 tournaments at the national and international levels. The Bangladeshi Chess Championship is the annual individual national chess championship in the country.

Other ball sports
Golf has recently seen an increase in its popularity in Bangladesh. The sport was not much notable until Siddikur Rahman became the first Bangladeshi golfer to win an Asian Tour event at the Brunei Open in 2010.[9] Subsequently, the sport began to get enough media coverage in Bangladesh and also succeeded to acquire sponsors to ensure its financial sufficiency.

The Bangladesh Handball Federation developed this sport in the country which has been a member of International Handball Federation since 1986. Both men’s and women’s teams from Bangladesh represent the nation in various international events most notably the South Asian Games. In addition, BHF, in assistance with the ministry of education, holds annual inter-school championships for both boys and girls throughout the country.

Volleyball is very popular in Bangladesh and practiced throughout the country but still struggles to have pleasant performance at the international arena. The Bangladesh Volleyball Federation was formed in 1972 and got its affiliation from Fédération Internationale de Volleyball and Asian Volleyball Confederation in 1976. So far Bangladesh participated twice in the Asian Games, twice in the Asian Youth Volleyball Championship and thrice in the Asian Men’s Volleyball Championship. Bangladesh Volleyball Team achieved Runners-up Trophy of International Volleyball Championships held in Pakistan from 28 to 30 January 2009.[10] There are also annual inter-school and national championships for the sport.

Basketball is a popular sport in Bangladesh mostly in the urban areas. The Bangladesh Basketball Federation has been affiliated with FIBA since 1978. Bangladesh has never qualified for Basketball at the Summer Olympics or the FIBA World Championship. The national team’s best finish at the FIBA Asia Championship was 13th in 1979. The other notable achievement was winning a bronze at the 2010 South Asian Games.

Main article: Rugby union in Bangladesh
Rugby is a minor but rapidly growing sport in Bangladesh. The history of rugby in Bangladesh, however, dates back to the 19th century during the British rule when the Europeans used to play the sport in Bangladesh. After the fall of the British dynasty, the sport had little or no presence in the country. However, in 2007, after a long period of dormancy, some Japanese coaches started a youth program. Various schools sent under-12s to the training camp.[11] The Bangladesh Rugby Association, the national governing body for the sport has been training these children in order to start an inter-schools tournament.[11] Bangladesh Rugby association became Bangladesh Rugby Federation Union after got affiliated as Federation. Now, Bangladesh Rugby Federation Union is the member of Bangladesh Olympic Association, National Sports council & Asia Rugby.

Bangladesh Rugby has especially raised under Current General Secretary Mr Mousum Ali. Beside, Bangladesh Rugby has specially step up after introducing a Rugby Development Team.

Racquet sport
Bangladesh shows a bright future in squash, with a flourishing number of tournaments arranged recently,[12] Many promising players is coming up from this country. Recent measures taken by the government as well as the efforts made by the officials of the Bangladesh Squash Racket Federation have resulted in the growth of popularity of squash in Bangladesh. The Government has proposed to provide a land where the main Federation headquarters will be built. Grameenphone Open Squash Tournament is a major tournament in Bangladesh. Some promising squash players from Bangladesh include Swapan Parvez, Raju Ram, Iman, Tamim, Habbarter Ribhu etc.[13]

Further information: [[:Tennis in Bangladesh]]
Tennis is mostly played in the urban areas of Bangladesh. The Grand Slam tournaments like the US Open, Wimbledon are very popular among the urban people but so far nobody represented the country in a grand slam as very few take the sport professionally. Since 2008, the Bangladesh Tennis Federation has been holding an annual international junior tennis tournament to promote and develop the sport in the country.

Bangladesh Davis Cup team made its Davis Cup debut in 1986. Bangladesh succeeded to reach the semi-finals three years later in Davis Cup 1989 in Asia/Oceania Zone Group II that was held in Singapore.[14]

Table Tennis
Table tennis has been played in Bangladesh since the 1950s. Although the game is very popular in schools, colleges and universities, tournaments outside educational institutions are not rare. The Bangladesh Table Tennis Federation was created in 1972. The same year it became a member of the Asian and World Table Tennis Federations. Many national and international competitions are held by BTTF as well as some major sponsors.[15]

Bangladesh takes part in different international table tennis tournaments and achieved some success too. In 1997, Bangladesh boys’ team got the third place in the first junior competition among 12 countries of the SAARC and ASEAN regions. Bangladesh also won some medals in South Asian Games. Bangladesh successfully hosted the Asian Cup Table Tennis Tournament in 1991. Bangladeshi table tennis player Zobera Rahman Linu has won the national table tennis championships in the individual category 16 times, which is the most by any sports-person in any country of the world.

Individual sports
The cycling community is getting bigger with time in Bangladesh. There’s South Dhaka Cyclists “SDC”, Bangladeshi Cyclists and so many other Cycling groups that help to promote cycling and a healthy lifestyle among all people.

Bangladesh is riverine country, having more than 250 rivers flowing through it. Hence swimming has always been a part of the lives of Bangladeshis. Bangladesh has produced a legendary swimmer Brojen Das, who was the first Asian to swim across the English Channel,[16] and the first person to cross it four times. He is also the only person outside United Kingdom and Australia to win the title of King of the Channel.[17]

See also: List of Bangladeshi records in athletics
Bangladesh has been participating at the Olympics, Asian games and other multinational competitions for athletics but hasn’t really pleased with its performance. Bangladeshi athletes have won some medals at the South Asian Games. The Bangladesh Athletics Federation is the national governing body for athletics. The sport of athletics is a collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing, and walking. The most common types of athletics competitions are track and field, road running, cross country running, and race walking.

Shooting is a promising sport in Bangladesh. Two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games for Bangladesh came from Shooting. Bangladesh have also won many gold medals at the South Asian Games. Shooting in Bangladesh came to spotlight when Asif Hossain Khan clinched the 10 meter air rifle gold medal in Commonwealth Games in 2002 and repeated his success in South Asian Games in 2004. The Bangladesh Shooting Sport Federation – BSSF is the governing body for shooting sport in Bangladesh. Now the President of BSSF is Mr. Nazimuddin Chowdhury & Secretary General is Mr. Enthekhabul Hamid for the Period of 2020.

Archery is a new but promising sport in Bangladesh. Archery was introduced in Bangladesh in 2000 and the Bangladesh Archery Federation was formed in 2001 and got affiliated with the World Archery Federation in 2003.[18] Having won some gold and silver medals at some multinational Archery championships, Emdadul Haque Milon and Ruman Shana are the most promising archers in Bangladesh.[19][20]

Combat sport
Boxing is not very popular in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Amateur Boxing Federation is the controlling board for boxing in Bangladesh. Most of the boxers in Bangladesh emerge from the Rajshahi and Jessore regions. Even though the performance of Bangladeshi boxers at international level has been very poor, the boxers have succeeded to win some gold medals at the South Asian Games.[21]

Butthan is a Bangladeshi martial art and an approved combat Sports included by the National Sports Council (NSC) under Ministry of Youth & Sports, Bangladesh.[22] Butthan is also a system of personal development with the aim to obtain body-mind balance. Its three main pillars are Sports, Self-defense and Well-being. Butthan was founded by Grandmaster Mak Yuree Vajramunee who was selected as one of the top five Superhuman by Discovery channel scientist team. He has many years of training in 40 different martial arts styles.[23]

Bangladesh has been taking part in various multinational competitions for Karate and has won total 7 gold medals at the South Asian Games. In 2010, Bangladesh achieved highest 4 Gold medals from Karate among the all sports event and secured 1st position in 11th South Asian Games. In 2019, Bangladesh secure 3 Gold medals ranking 2nd after Archery in 13th South Asian Games. Md. Hasan Khan, Md Hossain Khan and Syed Nuruzzaman secured 1st Gold medal and made history for Karate in South Asian Games in 2010. The Bangladesh Karate Federation, the national governing body for Karate, holds some annual Karate championships to promote the sport.[24] Bangladesh Karate Do is the most famous among the karate training institutes in Bangladesh.[25]

The Bangladesh Taekwondo Federation was formed in 1996 and is affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation.[26] Bangladesh Taekwondo team achieved 2 Gold at Open International Taekwondo Championships-2009 held in Seoul from 18 to 22 August 2009.[27] Bangladesh has also won some gold medals at the South Asian games.[28]

National competition
Bangladesh Games
Main article: Bangladesh Games
Bangladesh Championship League
Bangladesh Premier League (football)
Dhaka League
Federation Cup (Bangladesh)
Super Cup (Bangladesh)
National Cricket League of Bangladesh
One-Day Cricket League of Bangladesh
Bangladesh Premier League
International competition
Olympic Games
Main article: Bangladesh at the Olympics
Asian Games
Main article: Bangladesh at the Asian Games
Commonwealth Games
Main article: Bangladesh at the Commonwealth Games