Pankaj Advani pulls out of Asian snooker championship

Pankaj Advani has pulled out of the Asian Snooker Championship.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 19:10 PM IST

Mumbai: India`s number one cueist Pankaj
Advani has pulled out of the Asian Snooker Championship
commencing in Thailand on Saturday and his place in the draw
has been taken by another Petroleum Sports Promotion Board
player Saurav Kothari.

The Bangalore-based Advani, only the second cueist in the
world after Paul Mifsud of Malta to capture the IBSF World
snooker as well as billiards crowns, has decided not to travel
to Thailand "due to personal reasons", it was learned today.

In his absence Kothari, who lost to Advani in the final
of the last snooker nationals in Agra, and former two-time
continental champion Yasin Merchant would represent the
country in the eight-day tournament at Thai city Chanthaburi.

Kothari, set to play Advani in the final of the Nahar MIG
Group All India Prize Money Invitation Tournament here today,
has been placed in Group `A` with Au Chi Wai (Hong Kong),
Basem Aboud (Syria), Mohd Al Joaker (UAE) and Nhat Thanh
Nguyen (Vietnam).

Merchant is in Group `H` with Nader Khan Sultani
(Afghanistan), Wu Yu Lun (Taipei), Sergelen Batdelgar
(Mongolia) and Yuttapop Pakpoj (Thailand).

A total of 42 cueists have entered the tournament and
pooled in eight groups with the top two in each cluster
advancing to the knock-out pre-quarter finals.