India to have foreign Snooker and Pool coaches
New Delhi: Keen on ending India’s drought in the Pool event at the Asian Games, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of the country (BSFI) is all set to hire foreign coaches for its players for the first time.
Pankaj Advani and seasoned Geet Sethi have done extremely well at the international stage to establish India’s name in Billiards and the BSFI want the young players to excel in Pool and Snooker as well.
BSFI has got six applications from different countries and will choose one coach each for Pool and Snooker disciplines.
“A meeting has been organized on Monday to deliberate over the short-listed candidates and decision will be made public on December 31,” BSFI Vice President Ravi Tandon told reporters.
The Federation is keen that coaches join by February and start their sessions with the cueists alongside National 9-Ball and 8-Ball Pool Championship which will be held in the same month in New Delhi.
According to Tandon, they have received applications from Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Dubai and the selected coaches would be kept on a trial for two months.
“These coaches were present during the recently held World Snooker Championship in Hyderabad and our President P V K Mohan had discussed the issue with them,” Tandon added.
The 9-Ball and 8-Ball Pool championship would also form the basis of selection for the Asian Games, scheduled for November next year in China, where four gold medals in the Pool discipline will be at stake.
“Captain Mohan is very serious this time about the pool events where India has not won any medal. He wants coaches to come early so that they could identify the weaknesses of our players and fine tune them,” Tandon said.
Tandon also said that they are also taking help of Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) to select the coaches.
“ACBS secretary Syed Mahboob (from Bangladesh) is also visiting India on our request to give his expert advice and help us in our decision.”
He was also happy by the fact that the Union Sports Ministry and Sports Authority of India (SAI) are extending all possible help to the Federation.
“Ministry and SAI are helping us a lot this time and this is a positive change in their attitude. Ministry wants medals and have come out all the way to help us. They have also assured us of all kind of monetary help to take the game on top,” Tandon said.