New Delhi: Seasoned campaigner Alok Kumar was the cynosure of all eyes with his Asian Billiards title but overall it was an average year for Indian cue sports as success eluded the country at the major international events.
Alok blanked Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand 6-0 to win the coveted Asian billiards title in April at the Olympic Stadium of Kish Island in Iran.
He, thus, became the first player to achieve the rare feat of winning both the Billiards and Snooker Asian title. Earlier back in 2004 in Jordan, Alok lifted the Asian Snooker title by defeating compatriot Pankaj Advani in the finals.
In March, Alok had won the 8-ball and 9-ball National Pool titles by defeating compatriots Sumit Talwar and Rafath Habib respectively.
Seven-time World champion Pankaj Advani was the biggest disappointment this year as he failed to lift even a single international title.
The last international event in which Advani appeared was the IBSF World Snooker Championship in Bangalore where he made a shocking exit in the semifinal after being defeated 1-7 by Lee Walker of Wales.
In the World Professional Billiards Championship in Leeds, Advani lost to defending champion Mike Russell of England 1012-1250 in the semifinal, whereas in the IBSF World Billiards Championship (Point Format) in August, the Indian faltered at the final hurdle and went down 3-6 to 10-time World champion Russell in Carlow, Ireland.