Sport and Recreation of Pune

Cricket is the most popular sport in Pune, watched and played by many. City clubs affiliated to Maharashtra Cricket Association [MCA] have their own leagues and tournaments. Badminton is also fairly popular among Puneites. The first rules of the game were written in Pune by the British in 1873 and were not dissimilar to those in the modern version of the game. Hence Pune is known as the birthplace of Badminton. Hockey, football, tennis and chess as well as Indian games such as kabaddi and kho-kho are also very popular with schoolgoers and adults alike. Pune annually hosts the Pune International Marathon, which is often dominated by international athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia and Russia. Rowing enthusiasts, such as members of the Royal Connaught Boat Club take to the Mula-Mutha river.

The Nehru Stadium, home of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, has hosted several One-Day International cricket matches, including one from the 1996 World Cup where minnows Kenya upset the West Indies. The Deccan Gymkhana is another sporting institution with facilities for cricket, several tennis courts, basketball and swimming, having hosted Davis Cup matches on several occasions. The PYC Hindu Gymkhana located in the heart of the city is another famous place for nurturing sports. The Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi hosted the National Games in 1994, and is slated to host the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008.

Prominent sportspersons hailing from Pune include the legendary cricketer D. B. Deodhar, father-son cricketing duo Hemant and Hrishikesh Kanitkar and tennis players Radhika Tulpule and Nitin Kirtane (tennis). Abhijeet Kunte and Pravin Thipse are national champion chess players. Local MP Suresh Kalmadi is also the president of the Indian Olympic Association.