Hyderabad: On a day when India's lone professional player Aditya Mehta went down tamely to England's Jimmy Robertson, losing 4-0 in a best-of-seven frames in an Indian Open qualifying round contest, Jason Ferguson, the chairman of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA), called for more Indian stars if the game were to grow in India.
"We had only one event in China for a long time but we kept pushing and pushing and now we have created some local stars. What we need is local stars (in India), we need to get more players taking up the sport," said Ferguson.
Mehta, who bravely took the pro route when he could well have settled for medals in the amateur circuit. "Ever since I started to play the game, I wanted to compete with the best and not rest content with just medals and trophies. But yes, this does come at a cost," said Mehta in response to a question on how tough it was for an Indian to play abroad the year around.
"My expenses alone come to approx R3 lakh a month but thankfully my father and the family have been supportive and so I have managed thus far, my tournament earnings too helping."
Mehta has roped in a sponsor recently and once he fully recovers from his neck injury, he will hit the circuit again, sometime in September. By that time he will have forgotten this loss and with finances in order, he can concentrate on getting his mojo back.