Sport in Pakistan

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Sport in Pakistan is a significant part of Pakistani culture. Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan.[1] Football has also gained popularity in recent years, and is the second most popular sport in the country.[2][3][4] Field hockey is the national sport, and was popular for several decades, with some of Pakistan's greatest sporting accomplishments having taken place in this sport, along with squash. Polo and traditional sports like kabaddi and other well-known games are also played.[1]

In cricket, the country has had an array of success in the sport over the years, and has the distinct achievement of having won each of the major ICC international cricket tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, and ICC Champions Trophy;[5] as well as the ICC Test Championship.[6] Pakistan Super League is one of the largest cricket leagues of the world with a brand value of about Rs. 32.26 billion (US$110 million).[7]

Football in Pakistan is as old as the country itself. Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became its first Patron-in-Chief.[8] The highest football division in Pakistan is the Pakistan Premier League. Pakistan is known as one of the best manufacturers of the official FIFA World Cup ball.[9][10]

In field hockey, Pakistan is one of the most successful national teams with a record four Hockey World Cup wins, eight Asian Games gold medals, three gold medals in the Olympic Games, and the only Asian team to have won the prestigious Champions Trophy, with three championships.[1][11][12]

Squash player Jahangir Khan is widely regarded as the greatest squash player of all time, followed by Jansher Khan.[13][14][15][16] From 1981 to 1986, Jahangir was unbeaten and during that time won 555 consecutive matches – the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sport as recorded by Guinness World Records.[17][18]

In Northern Pakistan, the annual Shandur Polo Festival at Shandur Top is an international event attended by enthusiasts from all over the world.[19] The Shandur polo ground at Shandur Pass is the world's highest, at approximately 3,734 metres (12,251 ft).[20]

Pakistan's sporting prowess has declined sharply in recent years, while cricket remains widely popular, other sports have suffered due to neglect from both the government and sporting authorities.[21][22][23][24][25] The corporatization of sports in Pakistan has led to a lack of investment in nurturing talented athletes and providing adequate facilities and training.[26] Government patronage and funding for sports are at an all-time low, resulting in outdated equipment, obsolete training methods, and dilapidated sports infrastructure.[27] The focus on cricket has overshadowed other sports, exacerbating the decline across various disciplines.[28][29]

The Pakistan Sports Board was created in 1962 by the Ministry of Education as a corporate body to promote and develop uniform standards of competition in sports in Pakistan comparable to the standards prevailing internationally, and regulating and controlling sports in Pakistan on a national basis. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, now has control over the Pakistan Sports Board. The PSB controls all 39 sporting federations. The Pakistan Sports Board is supported by the Pakistan Sports Trust, which assists hard-up players and associations so they can continue participating in sports in the Olympic Games, Asian Games, World Games, and Commonwealth Games.

National participation[edit]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had a great love for the sport and fully realized the vital role it played in the development of nations and the inculcation of discipline among the masses. In a meeting with the Organizing Committee of the First Pakistan Olympic Games held at Karachi, Jinnah told the first President of the Pakistan Olympic Association, Ahmed E.H.:

Dedicate yourself to sports promotion, for when you and I are gone, leadership will go into the hands of Youth, and Youth is our wealth, a raw material, that must be hammered into shape, into burnished steel to strive and smite in defense – the defense of the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan – the defense of the ideology of Pakistan.

The first National Games were held at Polo Ground, Karachi from 23 to 25 April 1948. Sportsmen and officials from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and all the integrated Provincial units of West Pakistan took part in these games. The total number of athletes was 140. No competitors were, however, invited from any foreign country. Competitions were held in basketball, boxing, cycling, track and field, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Over the years, Pakistan has been held back due to the lack of funds placed in sports. Many facilities are substandard, causing Pakistan to fall behind other nations. In its early years, the young state had been able to compete with much success, but during the late 1970s, with the government no longer investing in athletics, the country could no longer compete.

However, since the late 1990s, this trend has changed. Money is now being placed into sports, and many of the federations are now managed by people who are trying to push Pakistani sportsmen and -women forward. International tournaments are now hosted in the country, and the nation sends athletes to compete abroad. There has also been a restructuring of national tournaments, and new facilities and equipment are being provided. This has seen overall results improve.

On March 3, 2009, 12 militants with guns, grenades, and rocket launchers attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lanka national cricket team to a match at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium in Pakistan. Six Pakistani policemen escorting the team and two civilians were killed while seven Sri Lankan players and an assistant coach were injured. Since the terrorist attacks, no foreign cricket teams toured Pakistan until 2015 when Zimbabwe toured for an away series. A month after the attack on the Sri Lankan team, the International Cricket Council relieved Pakistan of co-hosting duty for any 2011 Cricket World Cup games. Pakistan has tried to make the best of the situation by offering to host its "home" matches on neutral territory in the United Arab Emirates.[30] However, due to a decrease in terrorism in Pakistan over the past few years, as well as an increase in security, many teams have toured Pakistan since 2015.[31] These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and an ICC World XI team. In addition, the Pakistan Super League has seen games hosted in Pakistan.[32][33][34][35][36]

The Pakistan Sports Board is a government institution whereas the Pakistan Olympic Association is working under the shelter of the International Olympic Committee. Due to government interference, the Pakistan Olympic Association is very close to getting a ban from participation in the Olympic Games. Due to the Cold War, Pakistani sports is also suffering but, there is no hope of resolving this problem due to government-level dictatorship. [37]

Team sports[edit]


A cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at Lord's.

Cricket is the most popular sport in Pakistan. Almost all districts and neighbourhoods in Pakistan have a cricket team and people start playing from a young age. Pakistan has won international cricket events, which include the 1992 Cricket World Cup, the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy besides finishing as runner-up in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2022 T20 World Cup. Pakistan also won the ACC Asia Cup in 2000 and 2012 and all three versions of the Austral-Asia Cup.

Pakistan's cricket teams take part in domestic competitions such as the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the Patron's Trophy, ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup, and the ABN-AMRO Champions Trophy. Pakistan Cricket Board also organize a franchise based T20 cricket league known as the Pakistan Super League.

International Test and one-day matches are played between the Pakistan national cricket team and foreign opponents regularly. Women's cricket is also very popular, with Kiran Baluch holding the current record for the highest score in a women's test match with her innings of 242. The Pakistan Cricket Board controls both the men's and women's games. The 2020 Pakistan Super League events was hosted entirely by Pakistan.[38]

Notable cricketers from Pakistan include Aaqib Javed, Ramiz Raja, Babar Azam, Shoaib Akhtar, Younis Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Muhammad Yousaf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, the Mohammad brothers (Hanif, Mushtaq, Sadiq and Wazir) and Imran Khan. Imran Khan has been named in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Saeed Anwar's 194 runs against India remained the record for most runs by a batsman in an ODI for 11 years which was broken by Fakhar Zaman's 210 against Zimbabwe in 2018. Shoaib Akhtar holds the record of delivering the fastest delivery in the history of cricket. Shahid Afridi holds numerous records i.e. the 3rd fastest century in ODIs, and the highest number of sixes in international cricket. Wasim Akram at the time of his retirement had taken the most wickets in ODIs. Muhammad Yousuf has scored the most Test runs in a calendar year.

Field hockey[edit]

Pakistan playing against Argentina in 2005.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is the national governing body of field hockey in Pakistan. The Pakistan Hockey Federation Women Wing (PHFWW) is the official organization of women's field hockey in Pakistan.

The Pakistan national field hockey team has won 3 gold medals at the Olympic Games, and lifted the Hockey World Cup 4 times, being the country with most World Cups till the present. It has also won the most Asian gold medals and is the only Asian team to have won the prestigious Champions Trophy with 3 titles. It used to be consistently ranked among the top teams in the world. However, lately, there has been a decline in results, with the national team failing to qualify for both the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. The hockey team also failed to qualify for the 2023 World Cup.[39] Also, because of the PHF's poor economy, there were two years without any international matches between 2019 and 2021. PHF secretary lamented over lack of funding could even ban Pakistan hockey team.[40] As of December 2022 the team is ranked 16th in the world.[41] Notable players include World-Record holder Waseem Ahmad, Mohammed Saqlain, and Sohail Abbas.


Annual football match in Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan

Pakistan is known as the manufacturer of the official FIFA World Cup ball. The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is the governing body in Pakistan.

The origin of football in Pakistan can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century when the game was introduced during the British Raj. Initially, games were played between army teams. However, clubs were soon set up around the country.[42] One of the regional federations to organize football on what is now Pakistan Territory was the North-West India Football Association, in which clubs from the city of Lahore and the surrounding region were active.[43] Kohat FC was the first club to be established in 1930, it became the first outstation team to win the North-West India Football Championship 1937 in 1937 defeating Government College Lahore 1–0 in the finals.[43] The first female club to be established was Diya W.F.C. in 2002.[44]

Shortly after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) was created, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah became its first Patron-in-Chief. PFF received recognition from FIFA in early 1948.[45] The annual National Championship was organized shortly after. In 1950, the national team gained their first international experience in Iran and Iraq.[46]

The Pakistan Football Federation Women Organizing Committee (PFFWOC) is responsible for women's football in Pakistan. In 2004, the Pakistan Premier League was established; it is the first division of Pakistani football. The Pakistan National Football Challenge Cup is the national "knockout" cup competition in Pakistani football, run by the Pakistan Football Federation. The Pakistan National Women's Football Championship is the annual women's championship.

Australian Rules Football[edit]

Australian rules football was established in Pakistan in 2014 with support from the Australian High Commission.[47] The governing body is the Australian Rules Football Federation of Pakistan.

Teams were established in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Gujranwala.[47] It is currently strongest in the Swat Valley, where a large competition operates and draws large enthusiastic crowds. A women's team was formed in 2017. A major national tournament was organized in 2018.[48] Australia sent a coach to assist Pakistan in 2019 however the sport's rapid growth in popularity was greatly outpacing local officials ability to support it.[49] 10 of Pakistan's more than 15 clubs contested the 2021 AFL Pakistan National Championships in Islamabad.[50]

Pakistan sent a team to the Asian Championship in 2022, however met some roadblocks to participation due to funding.[51] Despite challenges sending a team, it won the Division 3 title.[52] In 2022 AFL Asia reported that Pakistan was the largest and fastest growing nation for the sport in Asia with over 5,000 players with a 45% annual increase in participation.[53] The Pakistan national side are known as the Dragoons.

Ball hockey[edit]

The Pakistan national ball hockey team is primarily composed of Canadian Pakistanis, born in Canada or with links to that nation. The sport is growing in the South Asian community there. Pakistan competed for the first time at the World Championships in 2009. They finished 3rd out of 4 in Group B behind only Bermuda and ice hockey giants Finland, and ahead of Cayman Islands. In the next world championships, they also participated and were champions of their group after defeating France in extra time. The Pakistan national ball hockey team is developing and improving, and in 2013 were awarded Pool A status, competing for gold in St. John's, Newfoundland.


In 2006, Pakistan Federation Baseball hosted the 7th Asian Baseball Championship,[54] and again from 2010 through 2017, with the national team winning the tournament from 2010 through 2015.


Basketball was introduced to Pakistan around 1900 and is especially popular in Lahore and Karachi. The Pakistan Basketball Federation has been part of FIBA since 1958. Six teams play in the Pakistan first division. The National Women's Basketball Championship is the Women's Basketball tournament.


Handball was first played in 1984 in an exhibition event, and was taken up by the Pakistan Olympic Association. The Pakistan Handball Federation is a member of the Asia Handball Federation. In beach handball, Pakistan is ranked first in Asia.3rd World Beach Handball Championship held from 9 to 13 July 2008 in Cadiz, Spain. Pakistan obtained 5th position and qualified for the World Games. Pakistan Handball team won one Gold medal in the 11th South Asian Games 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Pakistan obtained one silver medal during IHF Challenge Trophy 2010 held in Dhaka.[55] Pakistan also participated in the Beach Handball World Cup in 2008. Pakistan won the gold medal at the first Beach Asian Games in Bali, Indonesia.

Ice hockey[edit]

Pakistan has an ice hockey team but it is not part of the IIHF. Pakistan applied for membership but the congress postponed it until it had a better structure. However, Pakistan has deep roots in ice hockey in the northern parts of Gilgit-Baltistan province.[56]

Pakistan's first hockey game was played in Naltar

The first hockey game in Pakistan took place in December 2018 in Naltar between the Pakistan Air Force and Gilgit Scouts.[56] Baltistan Ice Hockey Championship 2022 was held in Skardu on January 25-26, with teams named after glaciers, to raise awareness about climate change.[57][58]

Rugby union[edit]

Rugby team of Karachi, c. 1934

The Pakistan Rugby Union was formally established in 2000 and gained memberships with the Asian Rugby Football Union in 2000. In 2003, Pakistan fielded a national team for the first time, participating in the Provincial Tournament in Sri Lanka. In November 2004, it participated in the 19th Asian Championship in Hong Kong. The Pakistan Rugby Union then became an associate member of the International Rugby Board (IRB).

There are three major clubs in Pakistan, which include Islamabad Rugby Football Club (IRFC) also known as the "JINNS", Lahore Rugby Football Club (LRFC), and Karachi Rugby Football Club (KRFC).

The latest landmark for Pakistan rugby is that universities like Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS) and Bahria University Islamabad have formed teams as well.[59]


Volleyball is a popular sport in the Pakistan Armed Forces. Inter-services games are played regularly, and most players of the Pakistani volleyball team are from the armed forces. This game is also gaining popularity among private school students in Karachi and Islamabad. Pakistan Volleyball Federation is the governing body of Volleyball in Pakistan.

Equestrian sports[edit]

Usman Khan during the Show Jumping Phase at Asia Pacific Championship in Sydney.

Equestrianism had traditionally been limited to the upper-echelon of Pakistani society up until the end of the 20th century. This resulted in private sponsorship and government funding (PST) for the sport. Pakistan Eventing was launched in July 2005 in partnership with The Equestrian & Tent Pegging Federation of Pakistan in an attempt to qualify Pakistan for its first Olympic equestrian qualification.


A polo match at Shandur

Polo is believed to have originated in Persia, and continues to be an important sport within the country with several large annual competitions.

The annual Shandur Polo Festival at Shandur Top in Chitral District is an international event attended by enthusiasts from all over the world.[19] The Shandur polo ground at Shandur Pass is the world's highest, at approximately 3,734 metres (12,251 ft).[20] The governing body of polo in Pakistan is the Pakistan Polo Association. There are more than twenty-one polo clubs in Pakistan[60] and over forty polo championships held all over the country every year.[61] Pakistan has qualified for the preliminary rounds of the World Polo Championship three times. Pakistan's Hissam Ali Haider is the highest cap played in the Asian circuit. He has played for Cartier in the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup and the Commonwealth team in the Royal Salute Coronation Cup, both of which were won by his team.[62]

Tent pegging[edit]

One of the founders of the International Tent Pegging Federation, Malik Ata Muhammad Khan, with his Lance at the Ranger Ground Lahore, 2012

Tent pegging is a popular sport in Pakistan. It is also locally named neza bazi.[63] The Equestrian & Tent Pegging Federation of Pakistan, formed in 2014, is the highest governing body who organizes the sport in Pakistan. Various clubs across the country also organize an event as well. The sport is the major event of the National Horse & Cattle Show held at Fortress Stadium Lahore. Pakistanis compete in various international events notably the World Cup which commenced in 2014.[64]

Malik Ata Muhammad Khan is one of the founders of International Tent Pegging Federation to address the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI),[65] where he also served as Vice President.[66]

Racquet sports[edit]


The Pakistan national badminton team represents Pakistan in international badminton team competitions.[67][68] It is controlled by the Pakistan Badminton Federation, the governing body for badminton in Pakistan. The national team was established in 1953.

In 1979, Pakistan participated in the World Championships organized by the WBF, which was a rival body of the Badminton World Federation that would later cease its operation on May 26, 1981, and merged with the International Badminton Federation (now known as Badminton World Federation or BWF). They won a bronze and a silver at the event, in men's team and men's singles.

Pakistan had only appeared in the international stage three times as they were eliminated in the group stage in the 1993, 1995 and 1997 edition of the Sudirman Cup.

The nation would make its first badminton debut in the Olympics when national player Mahoor Shahzad represented the country in the women's singles discipline.[69]

The team would later participate in the 2022 Commonwealth Games mixed team event through a bipartite invitation.

Pakistan earned its first Olympic Badminton Qualification after receiving a tripartite invitation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Thus, Mahoor Shahzad became the first Pakistani badminton player to compete at the Olympic Games.


Jahangir Khan, widely regarded as the greatest squash player of all time.

Squash is a popular sport that has a large following in Pakistan, with Pakistan dominating the sport for some time. The World Open professional championship was inaugurated in 1976 and serves as the main competition today.

Jansher Khan won the World Open eight times, and the British Open six times. From 1990 until 1996, he remained unbeaten in 81 matches for consecutive six years. This longest-winning matches streak in Squash history was recorded by Guinness World Records.[70][71] Jahangir Khan won the World Open title six times, and the British Open title ten times (1982–1991), and is widely regarded as the greatest squash player of all time,[14][13][15] and one of the greatest sportsmen in Pakistan history.[16][72] From 1981 to 1986, Khan was unbeaten and during that time won 555 consecutive matches[17] – the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sport as recorded by Guinness World Records.[18][73][74]

Combined they have won 14 world opens, making Pakistan the most decorated Squash nation in the world. Pakistani players have won the Squash World Open 17 times, and British Open 12 times, the highest by any nation.

Carla Khan, one of Pakistan's most successful sportswomen, is one of several men and women who represent Pakistan. The Pakistan Squash Federation is the governing body in the country. The Pakistan Open tournament is one of the premier events of the sport in the country. Every province of the country holds its own men's and women's championships. Some other notable players from Pakistan include Hashim Khan, Torsam Khan, Mobillah Khan, and Qamar Zaman.

Table tennis[edit]

The Pakistan Table Tennis Federation runs the sport in the country. Farjad Saif is the first player in Pakistan Table Tennis history to represent the country in the Olympics, participating in the 1988 Seoul Games. He did exceedingly well eventually ending the Olympic games with a ranking of 25th in the world.[75] He also holds a record 13 national titles also being the only individual to win the title 7 times in a row.

The Pakistan women's national table tennis team in 1972, competed in the inaugural ATTU Asian Table Tennis Championships held in Beijing, China.[76]


Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi at the US Open.

Tennis is a very popular sport and Pakistanis compete in various international events. The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) organizes the game in the country. Khawaja Saeed Hai was the first Pakistani to reach a Grand Slam tournament, playing at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open where he made it to the third round. Haroon Rahim was a very successful player, he was the winner of several ATP Singles and Doubles titles. Lately, Aisam-ul-Haq created history in Pakistani tennis, as he reached the finals of 2010 US Open – Men's Doubles and 2010 US Open – Mixed Doubles.

The Pakistan Davis Cup team have previously reached the world group play-offs, with the help of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, currently Pakistan's number one, and Aqeel Khan, the number two. Tennis events are very rare in Pakistan and there is hardly an international tennis event, apart from ATP tournaments.

Individual sports[edit]


The Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) organises athletic tournaments in Pakistan. Pakistani athletes compete in various athletic events. Some Pakistani athletes have excelled in various events in the distant past including Abdul Khaliq, Ghulam Raziq, Mubarak Shah, John Permal, Muhammad Talib, Ahmed Sajjad Cheema, Abid Hussain, Arshad Saleem, Arshad Nadeem, Ali Kamani and Nawaz, Mohammad Alam, and Muhammad Younis are some of the athletes who got prominence at either Asian or International levels, or both, winning gold medals for Pakistan.[77] In the early decades, Pakistanis held many Asian records including the Asian 100 m and 200 m record held by Abdul Khaliq. Pakistani female athletes have also represented Pakistan at the international level, such as Shabana Akhtar, who was the first Pakistani female athlete to participate at the Olympics. International events such as the Lahore Marathon take place in the country.

Arshad Nadeem, a Pakistani javelin thrower created a new national and Commonwealth Games record with a throw of 90.18 m and became the first ever athlete from South Asia to breach the 90m mark.[78]

Billiards and snooker[edit]

Snooker is one of the rising sports in Pakistan, and it has been taken up by many people. There has been success at the international level; Mohammed Yousuf was the 1994 IBSF World Snooker Champion and the 2006 IBSF World Masters Champion; and Shokat Ali is the Pakistan number one player and an Asian Games Gold medalist. The Pakistan Billiards Snooker Association (PBSA) was formed in 1958.


Scottish politician Humza Yousaf with Pakistani bowlers in 2014 Commonwealth Games

Pakistan Tenpin Bowling Federation is affiliated with Asian Bowling Federation and World Bowling. The Federation is affiliated with Pakistan Sports Board.[79][80]


In Pakistan, chess is played throughout the country, mostly in the Mughal style which is slightly different from the international style, but the Chess Federation of Pakistan (CFP) organizes its tournaments in the international style, and according to the established rules.[81] The FIDE has awarded the International Master title to Shahzad Mirza[82] and Mahmood Lodhi.[83] Ironically being 5th most populated country, Pakistan so far has 0 grandmasters.


The Pakistan Cycling Federation is the governing body of cycling in Pakistan. The Tour de Pakistan International Cycling Race starts from Karachi and ends in Peshawar, with about 150 domestic and international cyclists taking part every year. This race is among the largest of such events in Asia, covering a distance of 1,648 km in eleven stages with four days of rest en route.[84] Teams from WAPDA, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Railways, and Sui Southern Gas Company, along with teams of the four provinces regularly take part in domestic and international cycling tournaments. Women's cycling also takes place in the country. Other events are the Tour of Islamabad and the MTB Tour of the Himalayas.


The Pakistan Gymnastics Federation has been affiliated with the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) since 1958. Pakistan sends individuals and teams to international events such as the Olympic Games.


Pakistan has qualified for the Golf World Cup a total of 4 times,[85] in 1975, 1977, 1982, and recently in 2009,[86] when they finished joint 22nd out of the 28 qualifying teams.[87] The Pakistan Golf Federation (PGF) run golf in Pakistan. Karachi Golf Club is one of the oldest in the country and it is where the Pakistan Open takes place. The Pakistan Open was founded in 1967 and became an Asian Tour event in 2006. Chris Rodgers won the Pakistan Open in 2006. The 2007 event was held in January and had an increased prize money purse of $330,000 US. Taimur Hussain has been Pakistan's most successful golfer, as he won the 1998 Myanmar Open, becoming the first Pakistani to win on the Asian Tour.

Roller skating[edit]

The Pakistan Federation of Roller Skating (PFRS) is the national governing body of roller sports in Pakistan. The Federation started about 25 years ago[when?] in Lahore, Pakistan, founded by Khalid Saeed and his team.


Shooting in Pakistan governed by National Rifle Association of Pakistan. Irshad Ali with one silver and two bronzes in the Commonwealth Games being one of the most successful at international level.[88] Ghulam Mustafa Bashir, a 35-year-old shooting master won the bronze medal back at the 2022 International Shooting Sports Federation World Championships in Cairo, Egypt, and also earned direct qualification to Paris 2024 Olympics.

Kishmala Talat won Pakistan's first Asian Games medal in shooting at the 2022 Asian Games, being the first woman to do so.[89][90]


Ski resort in Malam Jabba

The Ski Federation of Pakistan, created in December 1990, runs the sport. Despite being a country with many mountains, the sport has never taken off until the late 1990s. Up until then, it was only done by the Pakistan Army. Now there have been facilities put in place so that the sport can be played, and the Ski Federation of Pakistan now sends out teams to international tournaments.[91]

Muhammad Abbas and Muhammad Karim represented Pakistan at 2010 Winter Olympics and 2014 Winter Olympics respectively.


The Motorsport Association of Pakistan (MAP) is a member of the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile FIA. The Pakistan National Karting Championship was the first motor racing circuit competition in Pakistan and is used to develop rookie drivers. The Freedom Rally is a yearly off-road race that takes place during the Independence celebrations.

A1 Team Pakistan and their seat holder Adam Khan during a pit stop.

Nur B. Ali was the first Pakistani Racing driver and Co-founded the MAP. He drives in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and is a former two-time Southwest Formula Mazda Regional Series champion. Ali was also the driver of the A1GP Team Pakistan in 2006. Syed Ovais Naqvi is the first local and homegrown professional Pakistani Racecar Driver and he is also the first Pakistani to acquire the International B Racing license, he also co-founded the MAP and is the General Secretary of the body. Ovais was also responsible for putting together the Pakistan National Karting Championship. Omer Younas is currently racing in the Formula BMW Pacific and Adnan Sarwar races in Formula Rolon. In 2005, the A1 Team Pakistan was run by Adam Langley-Khan, Khan remained the Team Pakistan driver until 2008. He also drives in the Euroseries 3000.


With the greatest concentration of the highest peaks of the world many of them very challenging climbs, Pakistan is a prime location for skilled mountain climbers. Five peaks are over 8,000 meters. The Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) founded in 1974, is the national mountaineering and climbing federation. Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan is the major affiliated unit of ACP founded in 1984. Nazir Sabir, Ashraf Aman, Hayatullah Khan Durrani

Group of Chiltan Adventurers with Hayatullah Khan Durrani Lino Lacedelli and Gianni Alemanno at Concordia base camp 2004

Lt.Col Abdul Jabbar Bhatti, Col Sher Khan, and Meherban Karim are Pakistan's most experienced mountaineers.

Pakistan Alpine Institute is the pioneer of "big wall climbing" in Pakistan.[92] Pakistan's First Big Wall Climbing Expedition has been completed by Imran Junaidi and Usman Tariq in September 2013.[93]

Samina Baig is the first Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest. She is also the youngest Muslim woman to climb Everest, having done so at the age of 21. Samina is also the first Pakistani woman and the first Muslim to climb the seven summits.[94][95][96]


The Pakistan Weightlifting Federation was formed in 1953. Pakistan has picked up several medals over the years in weightlifting. Shuja-Ud-Din Malik won gold in the Men's 85 kg. Combined at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Shujauddin Malik won the first gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, followed by Nooh Dastgir Butt, who won the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.[97]

Combat sports[edit]


The Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) organises boxing matches in Pakistan. The Pakistan Amateur Boxing Federation (PABF) organizes amateur matches. Pakistan has seen success at amateur-level boxing, despite a lack of necessary equipment and facilities. The Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing Tournament took place in the KPT Benazir Sports Complex in Karachi, Pakistan from 1–8 January 2010.[98] Amir Khan, the professional British boxing world champion of Pakistani descent was the guest in the final rounds of tournament.

Pakistan has won medals at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. Quetta born Haider Ali won gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games as a Featherweight and went on to become a professional boxer. Asghar Ali Shah is a two-time Olympian with 13 gold and 10 silver medals at international level.


Kabaddi is a famous sport in Pakistan. The governing body for Kabaddi in Pakistan is Pakistan Kabaddi Federation. Pakistan won the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup (Circle style) at the National Stadium in Lahore, after a close contest against India by 43–41.[99]


Karate is the regular event of National Games, the federation also organizes the National karate championship.[100] The Pakistan Karate Federation is the national governing body to develop and promote the sport of Karate in the Pakistan. Ghulam Ali and Saadi Abbas have won gold medals at the SAF Games.

At the Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018, Nargis Hameedullah became the first Pakistani woman to win an individual medal (a bronze) at the Asian Games.[101]

Mixed Martial Arts[edit]

Bashir Ahmad is the founder of Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan

Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan is the premiere mixed martial arts (MMA) and martial arts promotion based in Pakistan that was created in December 2007 by Bashir Ahmad to promote martial arts (and martial sports such as boxing and wrestling) styles in Pakistan with a particular focus on mixed martial arts competition.[102][103][104]

Anita Karim is the first international female Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Pakistan to win multiple national and international-level bouts.[105][106]


The Pakistan Taekwondo Federation is the national governing body to develop and promote the sport of Taekwondo in the Pakistan.[107] Taekwondo was introduced in Pakistan by Korean Consulate in Karachi in 1962. The federation was established in 1977 and granted affiliation by World Taekwondo. In 1982, the federation was affiliated with the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

It is a regular part of the biannual National Games. The federation organizes the annual National Taekwondo Championship.[108]


Gama Pahalwan is the best Indian/Pakistani wrestler in history.

Wrestling has always been an important sport in Pakistan, with regular tournaments played locally. Gama Pahalwan was an undefeated World Wrestling Champion from Pakistan. Gama Pahalwan's nephew Bholu Pahalwan also represented Pakistan in wrestling. The Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) is the national governing body of the sport of Wrestling in Pakistan.

Mohammad Bashir won the bronze medal in freestyle wrestling in the welterweight class (73 kg) at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.[109][110] becoming Pakistan first wrestling Olympic medalist.[109] Pakistan's most successful event in the Commonwealth Games has been Wrestling, where it has won 42 medals, 21 of which have been Gold. It ranks 3rd overall in Wrestling at the Commonwealth Games.[111]

Aquatic and paddle sports[edit]

Canoe Kayak[edit]

Abubakar Durrani and Shoaib Khilji are Pakistan National Kayaking Champions.

The Pakistan Canoe and Kayak Federation is the only official governing body of canoe and kayak sports in Pakistan. The headquarters of PCKF is based in the Hayat Durrani Water Sports Academy at Hanna Lake Quetta, one of the major canoe / kayak paddling and Rowing center in Pakistan.[112] PCKF is affiliated on international level with International Canoe Federation International Canoe Federation (ICF)[113][114] and on Asian level with Asian Canoe Confederation (ACC),[115] and on National level recognised with Pakistan Sports Board. The Kayaking National Champions Mohammad Abubakar Durrani, Mohammad Shoaib Khilji, and Farhanullah Kakar belong to HDWSA and Pakistan Customs Canoe & Kayak team Quetta.


Karachi and Quetta are the major centers of rowing in Pakistan. The National Rowing Championship is the major national event of rowing in the country. The Pakistan Rowing Federation was a founding member of the Asian Rowing Federation. Although Pakistani rowers take part in events, it is considered a minority sport. Rowers like Ali Hassan, Maqbool Ali, Zohaib Zia Hashmi, and Muhammad Asad Khan have won medals at international events and in International School Rowing events. Junior Rowers from Balochistan, such as Mehardil Khan Baabai and Mirwaise Khan Baabai won many medals.


The Pakistan Sailing Federation is the national body, with Karachi and Balochistan Sailing/Yachting Associations as its major units. Byram Dinshawji Avari represented Pakistan at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok, and again at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. He also won a silver medal at the Enterprise World Championship held in Canada in 1978. In 2004, Mohammad Tanveer of Pakistan won a silver medal in the Mistral Asian Championship held in Bombay. Shazli Tahir won silver and Junaid Ahmed won a bronze medal in the first CAS International Sailing Championship in April 2008.


Up until recently, swimming struggled as a sport in Pakistan. But there has been a surge in interest, particularly with Rubab Raza. She was the youngest Olympic Pakistani competitor in Pakistan's history, aged 13 at the 2004 Summer Olympics. Kiran Khan known as "Golden Girl" also came to attention when she won 7 gold medals, 3 silver medals, and 3 bronze medals at 28 National Games in 2001. Pakistan Swimming Federation is the governing body of swimming in the Pakistan

List of sports leagues[edit]






  • Super Boxing League


National Games[edit]

International Participation[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]