Pankaj Advani confirms his availability for Snooker Nationals

Lucknow: The cloud of uncertainly over Pankaj Advani`s participation in the Billiards and Snooker Nationals here this week has finally been lifted as the eight-time world champion has given his consent to be a part of the tournament, despite his hectic Pro circuit schedule.

Advani`s participation in the 81st Senior National Billiards & Snooker Championship from February 14 to March 7 was subject to his availability, keeping in mind the dates of the Welsh Open world ranking event, which would be played around the same time.

Advani has agreed to feature in the Snooker Nationals, which will be played from March 1 to 7, after he expressed his inability to play in the Billiards event to be held in the month of February.

The dates of Billiards Nationals (February 21-25) will be clashing with Welsh Open, which will be played from February 19 to March 2.

Advani would arrive in India from England and head straight to Lucknow for the Snooker event, which would see other star cueists like Kamal Chawala, Alok Kumar and Manan Chandra in action.

India`s number one snooker player Aditya Mehta has already expressed his inability to play in the Nationals due to his pro circuit commitments.

The Nationals, organised by the Uttar Pradesh Billiards and Snooker Association at the Shubham Banquets in Mahanagar, will also mark the beginning of 2014 cuesport season, which will see India playing host to the Asian Under-21 and Asian Billiards championships from April 4 to 10 in Punjab.

The Nationals would witness over 900 cueists vying for top honours in the 10th Sub-Junior, 39th Junior, 81st Senior, 23rd Ladies and 7th Junior, Sub-Junior Girls championship.

Other players in action in the Senior Nationals include Laxman Rawat, Shivam Arora in the men`s section, while the women`s category features Chitra Magimairag (former World Billiard Champion and reigning 15 Red Snooker National Champion), Arantxa Sanchis and Vidya Pillai.

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