Who are the most popular sportspersons in India if we took into account their following on social media?
A chart developed by starcount, a leading social media aggregator, has the list of the most popular sportspersons in India (on social channels). It is almost anybody’s guess to predict the stranglehold of cricket in this list. Such is the dominance of cricket that among the top 20 most popular sportspeople in India, 19 are cricket players, according to starcount’s social media leaderboard. No prizes for guessing the lone exception – it is Saina Nehwal, the talented shuttler and Olympic Bronze Medallist.
At the top of the list is an familiar name – Sachin Tendulkar. He is easily the most popular cricketer in India – offline and online. His social media following dwarfs the other greats including that of Bollywood. With over 7 million on facebook (his biggest facebook page) and over 2.6 million on Twitter, Sachin’s presence and reach on social media shows no sign of stopping and he is the most popular Indian of all time on social media. In fact, he has now officially joined Facebook which has over 4.5 lakh fans in the last two days and this count will only take him further.
The 2nd and 3rd positions are taken by M.S. Dhoni and Virender Sehwag ( as our charts suggest).
The starcount chart also has some interesting names in the Top 10. Sreesanth, who has not played active cricket at a national level for sometime is at No.5 ahead of current stars like Kohli and even Yuvraj. Murali Kartik is also a similar name in the Top 10, he has a huge following on Google Plus.
Saina Nehwal, after an impressive showing at the Olympics is the only non cricket personality and the only ‘sportswomen’ in the Top 20.
Most of the other well known Indian sportspersons are found in the 20-30 regions. But for most practical purposes, it has been cricket which has dominated people’s minds and social media as well.
Now, the question is, where would these cricketing icons rank in the worldwide most popular list on social media?
(To be continued in our part two edition)