Bangalore: Faced with a tough choice between two top tournaments which clash in dates, India`s ace cueist Pankaj Advani has decided to take part in the World Billiards Championship and skip International Snooker Championship, both starting later this month.
Advani recently turned pro in Professional Snooker Tour and was looking forward to taking part in the October 28 to November 4 International Snooker Championship in Chengdu, China, the world`s richest pro-snooker tournament with USD 950,000 prize money.
But, with the World Billiards Championship scheduled for October 18 to 28 in Leeds, England, Advani had to take a tough call and has now decided to skip the snooker event.
Unable to participate in both events due to the clash in dates, Advani has now withdrawn his participation from the International Snooker Championship in China and as a result will have to pay a statutory fine.
"A few months ago I took up the challenge of playing both Billiards and Snooker at the highest level and with a decision as unique as that, I was aware that there may be certain repercussions. And while an ideal situation would have allowed me to participate at both events, the clash of dates has forced me to pick `one`," said Advani.
With seven world titles under his belt, six in Billiards and one in Snooker, Pankaj has proved his mettle in both disciplines. Following his brilliant victories over former world number one John Higgins and legendary Steve Davis on the tour post his recent debut, 27-year old Advani has shown great promise in becoming a force to reckon with on the Professional Snooker Circuit as well.
As the only active player competing at the highest level in both disciplines, Advani has been splitting his time between Sheffield, UK and India.
Asked about balancing both disciplines, Advani said, "It`s the challenge of playing both Billiards and Snooker at the highest competitive level that keeps me going. The contrasting nature of both sports is what keeps me engaged and stimulated."