21 February 2021 Written By Vivek Pathak
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Top Cueists of India have united once again and have announced the revival of The Billiards and Snooker Players Association of India (BSPAI), which was formed by stalwarts earlier in April 1992.
On Friday, the 19th February 2021, the players from across the country organized a virtual meeting where past President and snooker champion Yasin Merchant handed over the baton to Cherag Ramakrishnan to take forward the association as President. Mumbai-based Businessman Cherag Ramakrishnan was the winner of the 2019 World Master Snooker Bronze medal and active in the promotion of sport by various means.
The association has its legacy with its founder president being A.M. Merchant, followed by Padmashri Geet Sethi and then Arjuna Awardee Yasin Merchant. It was last functional till 2007 and now after 14 years, the players have again come together with a vision to work with the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India and all stake-holders for big reforms, which includes certain programs for better exposure and opportunities to upcoming players of our country.
During the meeting, Cherag inducted four Vice Presidents in his team i.e., twice Asian champion Yasin Merchant, 23-time World champion Pankaj Advani, former Asian champion Alok Kumar, World games Gold medalist, and world team champion Aditya Mehta.
Abhishek Shah, President of Gujarat Billiards and Snooker Association and promoter of cue sports for almost 2 decades has joined as Honorary Secretary of BSPAI along with Vivek Pathak (Founder, Cue Sports India) as the Treasurer. Asian Games silver medalist Brijesh Damani has been appointed as the Joint Secretary.
President Cherag conveyed "I am privileged to lead a team of stalwarts as my fellow members and serving VP’s consisting of Pankaj Advani, Yasin Merchant, Aditya Mehta, and Alok Kumar. It is with great humility I find myself in a position of responsibility to my fellow players both of the past and the current. With your blessings, I hope the revival of the association after a gap of nearly 15 years will usher in a new era of collaboration between the players, the authorities, and the government bodies."
Abhishek Shah the incoming secretary commented, "I am thankful to Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta, and top cueists of our nation for placing so much trust in me and entrusting the pivotal responsibility of driving BSPAI to its meaningful glory for the unity of our players."
The BSPAI executive committee comprises of former World No.2 in 6Reds Kamal Chawla, twice Asian champion Dhruv Sitwala, former World Masters Champion Dharminder Lilly, former World Team Cup winner Manan Chandra, former Asian Women champion Amee Kamani, former world No.2 Vidya Pillai, and former national pool champion Sundeep Gulati.