Pankaj Advani set to take a call on professional snooker
Pankaj Advani will soon take a call on withdrawing his professional snooker tour card and indeed, about his future in professional snooker itself.
“It’s all confusing, whether to play the Indian Open qualifier (for professionals) at Barnsley from September 18 to 21 or take the Indian wild card opportunity.
“It’s a tough call to take with two high-level competitions (Indian Open at Mumbai from October 13 to 17 and World Billiards Championship at Leeds from October 20 to 24) to be played in a short span of time,” said the winner of World, Asian and Asian Games titles across all cue sport games on Wednesday.
The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) though has advised the Billiards and Snooker Association of Maharashtra (BSAM) to enter the 29-year-old Advani for the last Indian wild card entry qualifier to be played at the PYC Gymkhana, Pune from September 15 to 19.
Derek Sippy, Jt. Hon. Secretary, BSAM confirmed this development, although Advani said he’s yet to give anything in writing about his taking part in the Pune qualifier. Last year both Aditya Mehta and Advani won their first round matches of the Indian open qualifier played in England. Thereafter Mehta created history by advancing to the title match of the competition in New Delhi. Advani, too, made an impact in professional snooker for two years, but the thought of living six months in England year after year and going through the grind has compelled him to look at all options. English billiards is his first love, and recently he won the IBSF 6-Red World snooker championship in Egypt.
The BSFI has been assured of full support from sponsors. Keen to build on the success of the inaugural event at New Delhi and in fact looking for a second world-ranking event from 2015, the BSFI needs Mehta and Advani’s presence in Mumbai.