Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta are path-breakers: Geet Sethi

Oct 10, 2013, 07:45 IST | IANS

For snooker to take off in a big way in India, a lot would depend on the performances of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta in next week's World Snooker Indian Open in New Delhi, but both have already blazed new trails according to nine-time World Billiards Champion Geet Sethi

In an exclusive interview to IANS, Sethi, who was in Bangalore on a brief visit, opined that should either Advani, an eight-time World Billiards Champion, or Mehta wins the Indian Open or any other major event, then it could trigger a “snooker revolution” in India.

Pankaj Advani (left) and Aditya Mehta during a press conference in Mumbai to announce the Indian Open World Snooker tournament earlier this month.

Although India is credited as the birthplace of snooker, the country has produced just two World Champions in Om Bharadwaj Agarwal (1984) and Advani (2003), but in the amateur category. A few Indians did try their hand at professional snooker, but could not make much of an impact.

Geet Sethi
Geet Sethi

“Aditya and Pankaj have already surpassed the achievement of all their predecessors with emphatic and credible performances in their very first year as professionals.

“They are the first of genuine pedigree snooker players India has produced and they will prove to be path-breakers in professional world snooker from India’s perspective,” said Sethi.

Since turning professional last year, Advani, the reigning World Billiards Champion from Bangalore, has chalked up victories against some well-established players like four-time World Champion John Higgins.

Mumbai-based Mehta was a pre-quarter-finalist at the International Championship last year.  

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