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Lucknowites have indulged in a variety of sports down the ages including traditional wrestling (kushti), kabbadi, chess, kite flying, pigeon racing and cock fighting. In the modern era they have taken to cricket, hockey, football, tennis, badminton, golf and horse racing. Lucknow today has its own Hockey India League team, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards and its own Indian Badminton League team, the Awadhe Warriors. The Guru Gobind Singh Sports College and Lucknow Cricket Hostel, amongst others, nurture sporting talent in the city.
Eminent sports personalities from Lucknow have contributed immensely to Indian sport. They include hockey players K.D. Singh and Mohammed Shahid, who represented India in the Olympics, tennis player Ghaus Mohammed Khan, who was the first Indian to make it to the Wimbledon quarter finals, and cricketers Mohammed Kaif, R. P. Singh, Suresh Raina, Praveen Kumar and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar.
Some of the most popular events on the city sporting calendar today include the Sheesh Mahal Cricket Tournament, the oldest cricket tournament in India, Hockey India League and Indian Badminton League matches. Lucknow has also hosted International Tennis Federation matches in the past.
Cricket in Lucknow
There are many cricket academies in Lucknow namely, Abhijeet Sinha Cricket Academy, Lucknow Cricket Hostel, Naqvi Cricket Academy and Drona Cricket Academy.
Hockey India League in Lucknow
The Hockey India League is also played in Lucknow; it is known as called Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the city.
Indian Badminton League in Lucknow
The Indian Badminton League also has a team in Lucknow. The franchise is called Awadhe Warriors and consists of P.V. Sindhu, Guru Sai Dutt, K. Srikanth, Ruthvika Shivani, K. Maneesha, Nanda Gopala and others. It is owned by the Sahara India Pariwar and is based at the Babu Banarasi Das U.P. Badminton Academy in the city.
Stadiums in Lucknow
A number of stadiums cater to sportspersons and sports enthusiasts
in Lucknow. They include the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium, Dhyan Chand Hockey
Stadium, LDA Stadium, RDSO Stadium, Dr. Akhilesh Dasgupta Stadium,
Chowk Stadium and mini stadiums in Gomti Nagar and Rajajipuram. Located
in Hazratganj, the K.D. Singh Babu Stadium is the city’s main stadium.
Having a capacity of 25,000, it has hosted a number of cricket and
hockey matches and offers facilities for cricket, hockey, badminton and
swimming. Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, which has been refitted with an
astro turf surface, is located on the city’s periphery, within the Guru
Gobind Singh Sports College complex on Kursi Road. LDA Stadium in
Aliganj has facilities for hockey, basketball and lawn tennis.
Lucknow Football Clubs
Football is gaining popularity in Lucknow though it does not match the popularity of cricket. Football enthusiasts get their dose of matches played by Chowk Sporting and Sahara FC at Chowk Stadium and Dilkusha grounds.
Lucknow Race Course
Located on Bahadur Shah Marg in the cantonment area of Lucknow, the race course has a long history having been established in 1880. Spread over 70 acres, it is a much needed green oasis in the heart of the city.
Lucknow Golf Club
The Lucknow Golf Club on Kalidas Marg is where lovers of the game can swing their clubs. Located next to La Martiniere, it was established in the mid-19th century. It offers its members a range of facilities including fairways, a clubhouse, bar and restaurant and a gymnasium. The Captain’s Cup and Abeer Gulal golf tournaments are popular events on the calendar.
Guru Gobind Singh Sports College
The Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in Lucknow offers sportspersons world class facilities for cricket, hockey, athletics, football and volleyball. In fact, the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium is located within the college complex. It is located on Kursi Road, 10 km from the heart of the city.