Sports in Tamil Nadu
Different Sports has been played by the people of Tamil Nadu. These include both traditional sports and sports from other countries.
Seval Sandai or Seval Porr (cockfighting) is a popular rural sport in Tamil Nadu. Three or four-inch blades are attached to the cocks' feet and the winner is decided after three or four rounds of no holds barred fighting. The sport involves major gambling in recent times. Cockfighting in Tamil Nadu is mentioned in ancient literature like Manu Needhi Sastiram, Kattu Seval Sastiram and other Sangam literature. It is referred to as the favorite pastime for the warriors of Tamil country and is acknowledged as one amongst the 64 great arts.
Jallikattu is a popular bull taming sport practiced particularly during Pongal festival. Jallikattu was a popular sport since the Tamil classical period. Rekla race is an associated sport which is a form of bullock cart racing.In May 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned both the sports citing animal welfare issues.
Chess is believed to have originated in India, c. 280 – 550 CE, where its early form in Tamil Nadu was known as Sathurangam literally four divisions [of the military] – infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariotry, represented by the pieces that would evolve into the modern pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively.
Modern day chess is a widely popular game in the state and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association is the apex body for the game of chess in Tamil Nadu. The state has produced many grandmasters including Viswanathan Anand, one of the greatest and most versatile players of the modern era having won the World Chess Championship five times from 2002 to 2013. Other notable players include S. Vijayalakshmi and Krishnan Sasikiran.
Kho kho is a tag sport played by teams of twelve players who try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team, only 9 players of the team enter the field. It is one of the two most popular traditional tag games played in schools, the other being kabbadi.
Uriyadi involves smashing a small earthen pot with a long stick usually with a cloth wrapped around the eyes to prevent the participants from seeing the pot. Other minor sports include Ilavatta kal where lift huge spherical rocks, Gilli-danda played with two pieces of sticks, Nondi played by folding one leg and hopping squares. Some of the indoor games include Pallanguzhi involving beads, Bambaram involving spinning of top, Dhayakattai which is a modified dice game, Aadu puli attam, Nungu vandi and Seechangal.
Cricket is the most popular sport. It is played by many people in open spaces throughout the state. Tamil Nadu Cricket Association is the governing body of cricket activities in the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Tamil Nadu cricket team, which has won the Ranji Trophy twice and have finished Runners-up 9 times. Chennai Super Kings, a franchise based out of Chennai is the most succesful team in the Indian Premier League. Notable international cricketers from Tamil Nadu include Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Kris Srikkanth, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Robin Singh, Sadagoppan Ramesh, Murali Karthik, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Murali Vijay, Ravichandran Ashwin and Dinesh Karthik. Cricket administrators from the state include current International Cricket Council president N. Srinivasan, former BCCI presidents A. C. Muthiah and his father M. A. Chidambaram.
M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is one of the oldest cricketing venues and was the host of India's first test cricket victory. MRF Pace Foundation, a coaching clinic for training fast bowlers from all over the world is based in Chennai. It was created by MRF Limited with the help of former Australian pace spearhead Dennis Lillee.
Hockey is one of the popular sports played in schools and colleges. Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium is a field hockey stadium at Chennai named after M. Radhakrishna Pillai and was the venue to the 1996 Men's Champions Trophy and tournament tournaments. It is also the venue for all division matches of the Chennai Hockey Association and the home ground of the World Series Hockey team Chennai Cheetahs.Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu is planning to set up a hockey academy Notable international players include Vasudevan Baskaran, Krishnamurthy Perumal, M. J. Gopalan, Dhanraj Pillay, Adam Sinclair and Mohammed Riaz.
Chennai Open is an ATP World Tour 250 series tournament held annually in January at SDAT Tennis Stadium in Chennai. It is the only ATP tournament held in the country. Notable players are Ramesh Krishnan, Ramanathan Krishnan, Vijay Amritraj, Mahesh Bhupathi and Nirupama Vaidyanathan.
Coimbatore is often referred to as the "Motor sports Capital of India" and the "Backyard of Indian Motorsports". S.Karivardhan, spearheaded motor racing, making Coimbatore the country's motor racing hub when he designed and built entry level race cars. Before Buddh International Circuit was constructed, the country's only two permanent race ways were the Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore and Madras Motor Racing Track, Chennai. MRF built is first Formula 3 car in 1997. MRF in collaboration with Maruti established the Formula Maruti racing, a single-seater, open wheel class motorsport racing event for race cars made in India. MRF Challenge is a Formula 2000 open-wheel motorsport formula based series organized by Madras Motor Sports Club in association with MRF. Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok, the only drivers from to represent India in Formula 1 hail from the state. Other prominent racers include Parthiva Sureshwaren, Ashwin Sundar, N. Leelakrishnan, Raj Bharath and Ajith Kumar represented India.
Other popular games include athletics, soccer, basketball, volleyball and badminton. Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai and Nehru Stadium, Coimbatore are popular multipurpose football and athletics stadiums in the state. Notable volleyball players include A. Palaniswamy, G. E. Sridharan and Tamil Nadu men's team won the Gold in National level competition held in 2011. Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal are the notable squash players who won gold at the Commonwealth games. Kutraleeswaran is a notable swimmer, who was the first Indian to cross six channels in a single calendar year.Archery, boxing, carrom, shooting, weightlifting, martial arts, snooker, golf, bowling and squash also feature among sports played. Srither won gold at Asian Archery Championship held at Indonesia in November 2009. A. Maria Irudayamand Ilavzhagi won world carrom championships. Sathish Sivalingam is a commonwealth gold medalist in weightlifting.
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