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Pankaj, Kamal hopeful for a bright future of the sport

30 November 2021 Written By CSI News Desk


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The 24-time world champion, #PadmaBhushan Awardee Pankaj Advani is now in the city of lakes, Bhopal to participate in the ongoing National 6Reds, Billiards and Snooker championship.

He took out some time to attend an exclusive press conference at the Tatya Tope Stadium near Mantralaya where he was joined with his fellow player from Bhopal Kamal Chawla, who is also a 2017 World 6Reds No.2 and holds 10 international medals.

Answering the questions, Advani looked hopeful for a bright future of #CueSports and lots of youngsters are taking up the sport and seasoned players like Kamal Chawla is also promoting snooker in Bhopal. Kamal is a coach and Technical Advisor at the DYSW Cue Sports academy at the stadium.

Pankaj also praised the sports academy being run by DYSW in Bhopal and providing international standard facilities for the #CueSports where budding cueists of Bhopal are getting trained. He said that Madhya Pradesh Government is doing very well in sports.

On being a cueist, Advani said that if he had not been playing cue sports, perhaps would not have been so successful in any other sport. “I am made for this game. I have played cricket, badminton and many other sports too, but my mind was only on this. I have been associated with this game since the age of 10, as my love for this game has grown deeper as I grow older.

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Pankaj started his career when top players like Geet Sethi, Devendra Joshi, Yasin Merchant, Alok Kumar etc. dominated. Pankaj said about this that I am lucky that I got a chance to play with these legendary players. My coach Arvind Savur gave me the right guidance and enhanced my game. He further said that in this era most of the players used to play in only one format, at that time, I tried to perform equally in both the games. For this, I developed and worked on my different styles in both formats. This is the reason why he could achieve equal success in billiards as well as snooker.

When asked do you think sportspersons should take over the administrative work of sports? Advani opined that he believes only a sportsperson can know and understand the requirements of other sportspersons. Not the players currently in the game, but the ex-champions or ex-players should oversee the administration to avoid bias and to ease the decision-making. Non-retired players may be biased towards themselves or their peers.

For CueSports being into the Olympics, Pankaj said that these are the decisions that the international federations make. He also questioned, which is better-a Bollywood star giving one hit in four years, or one hit every year and all movies? A game not being in the Olympics is no reason to berate it. We have regular international championships. But, yes, sports is all about equality. The Indian government should invest in non-Olympics sports too as there are many young players who fail to excel due to a lack of opportunities.

Post that both the players spent time for practice on DYSW’s academy snooker tables before signing off.