New Delhi: His feat of becoming a three-time
Asian billiards champion going virtually unnoticed amid the
IPL hype, ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani rued that his
failures make more news than his triumphs.
"It`s ironical that my losing makes more news than my
winning nowdays. When I win it`s like praises coming from all
over places, but when I lose, it`s like Oh! how come it
happened. How did you lose? Very strange. You see very
shocking reactions," Pankaj told reporters in an interview.
"I don`t know what to do in that situation. Whether to
feel happy that people expect so much from me or to feel
disappointed that my being so low profile has been taken for
granted. To get noticed, you have to be in the news for the
wrong reasons. I can`t do that, and so my win is taken for
granted," the world champion said.
A miffed Pankaj went on to criticise the IPL, saying that
more then sports, it is a mix of business and entertainment.
"It`s all about entertainment. Entertainment factor first
than cricket. And people love all this," he said.
Pankaj, the youngest Asian to have won the IBSF titles
for record a six times, said all the sports federations
including Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI)
should take a leaf out of BCCI`s book on how to successfully
promote and market their sports.
"Not on the similar lines like IPL, but something like
that. It`s a general comment that all the federations
including BSFI should follow the example of BCCI and learn
ways to promote and market their sports," he said.
"It`s my personal view. To make cuesports more spectator
friendly and increase its base, you need to get more and more
people involved in this game. Like exhibition matches in
"Basically, it`s an indoor game, so organise a tournament
in an open arena. You need to come out with something out of
the box thinking, some radical ideas. And that`s where
federation must come in and think over it."
"Players` job is to perform. Do the country proud. People
who governs the sport, they need to be more pro-active in
marketing the game," said Pankaj, the only cueist to have won
twin titles (point and time formats) at the IBSF World
Billiards championships not once but twice.
Pankaj feels that it`s high time the country starts
appreciating heroes from other sports.
"In India, when you talk about sports, most of the
parents are of the view that it`s a waste of academic future.
This shows there lack of passion for sports.”
"You have great sportspersons in every field where they
have achieved everything they want. Huge bunch of achievers we
have in India and that`s inspirational," he said.
Expectations have always sat heavy on this young player`s
slim shoulders, but he`s learnt to deal with them.
"I have reached a stage in my career where I don`t have
to prove anything to anyone. After winning seven world titles
and five Asian titles, I really don`t need to prove anything.
If last five years results are to go by, I think I have done
my bit and achieved everything," he said.
"My next aim is to become India`s best sportsperson. To
achieve everything that a sportsperson wants to achieve in his
career. I am the best in cuesports and I have no qualms
admitting that and there is no suspicion about that."
On upcoming tournaments, Pankaj said, "I will be
participating in Asian Snooker championship in May in
Thailand, World billiards and snooker championship in August,
September and then Asian Games in November in China."