Bangalore: Torn between two formats, ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani yesterday decided to choose billiards over professional snooker and confirmed his participation in the Indian Open and the World Championships.
“Finally I have decided to play in the Indian wild card qualifier to be played in Pune (from September 15-19), which means I am going to play the Indian Open and the World Billiards which happens immediately after. But before that I have to qualify in the qualifiers,” Advani told reporters here.
He further said, “If I am playing on Indian wild card, I have to let go my professional tour card, which means I would not be playing in that circuit anymore.”
Wants to excel in both
Advani said he had to take this decision because he wanted to excel in both snooker and billiards.
“I took this decision because I missed billiards and my family. I wouldn’t have been able to play billiards if I am based in England for six months. “My sole objective has been to excel in both sports not just in one, and that will be possible if I am based in India,” the 10-time world champion added.
Asked what it means emotionally to give up professional snooker for now, Advani said as a non-professional it would “hit him” watching Indian cueists playing the sport.
Padma Bhushan for Pankaj Advani?
The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) has proposed Pankaj Advani’s name for Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award, for his contribution to the sport. Advani is a winner of 10 world titles in billiards and snooker.