This might surprise you to find out that the sport people play the most in your countries is not the national sport. Al least, this is not an unusual thing for me. Spending all my life in Pakistan, I have watched people playing cricket the most and that is a likable sport for most of them in the country but when you study about official national sport in books so here is the answer.

Hockey is the oldest known ball and stick game apart from the Irish sport of hurling. Games resembling hockey have been played as early as 2000BC. The Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all left evidence they played a game using a ball and sticks. In medieval Europe, pictures of men playing a game with hooked sticks feature in stained-glass windows at both Canterbury and Gloucester cathedrals.

Hockey began as a sport in the late 19th century. The first hockey club is considered to be the Blackheath Football and Hockey Club in south-east London, which dates back to at least 1861, and possibly the 1840s.

Hockey had truly developed as a British sport before being carried to the four corners of the British Empire by the nation’s soldiers and other workers. Accordingly, most of the dominant nations in the sport are, or were, members of the British Empire. This includes India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and England.

Before independence, the teams used to consist of players from both present-day India as well as present-day Pakistan. In its first international match against Belgium in the 14th Olympic Games, the Pak hockey team defeated the team by one goal and came back as a winner on 2nd August 1948. Field Martial Ayub Khan’s arrival in 1958 proved to be not only one of the most significant determining factors behind declaring hockey as this new nation’s national sport but also brought in a new wave of enthusiasm for the sport as he emphasized on it more than football or cricket.

The Olympic programme first embraced hockey in 1908 and since its return in 1920, it has been on the events list ever since. Hockey was originally played on grass fields but in the 1970s artificial turf was adopted, making the game much faster. In 1980, women’s hockey became an Olympic sport.