Pankaj Advani is to the baize sport (snooker and billiards) what Vishwanathan Anand is to chess. Both are modern Indian sport icons and revel in fields that are not audience-friendly and lack strong corporate support. Still, their international achievements, though not comparable, have been stupendous.
Pankaj Advani, 33 years old Bengalurean, has taken up the role of the joint-secretary of the Karnataka State Billiards Association. Advani is the holder of the IBSF World Snooker and Billiards (150-up) Championship titles and still the best cueist in the country. This Cueist from Bengaluru is certainly not done with his playing career.
The state association has always prided itself in providing good administration and it still is the best facility in the country. Players, who call it the mecca of cue sports in the country, still love to come and train here and rate it as amongst the top practice centres in the world. But something inside Advani made him throw his hat into the administrative ring.
He decided to stand for elections because as a player he understands what the difficulties are, understand the issues more than people who have not played at the highest level.
Advani, who departed for Yangon, Myanmar on 10.11.2018 to defend his IBSF World Snooker and Billiards crowns, said his main goal is to get more women and juniors into the sport. “ We have a lot of participation among men, a lot of players coming in but to develop the junior and ladies is something very close to my heart. To get them to use our facilities, to get more deserving players, players who really should be here ideally practicing because these are the best facilities in the country.”
Advani stressed the need to take the game to educational institutions. The Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS)’ new initiative — the 10-red snooker ranking event — has been attracting a lot of attention.
Mount Carmel College has introduced cue sports as a part of their curriculum and Pankaj Advani wishes that the same will be followed in other schools and colleges.