Mother reveals Pankaj Advani's secret to success

Pankaj's mother and brother celebrate in Bangalore
Bangalore, Oct 31: Pankaj Advani might have become the toast of India after winning the World Billiards title (time format), but the ace cueist's mother Kajal says it is elder brother and sports psychologist Shree's 'gyaan' that often does the trick for him.

Full list of Pankaj's titles, awards

"Whenever Pankaj calls up Shree, which he does quite often, Shree gives him Gyan (tips) and he does well," Kajal told PTI in an exclusive interview at her residence here.

Bangalore's Golden Boy, who pocketed the short format last week, had set the green baize on fire in the longer format as well after humbling England's rising star Robert Hall 1928-893 in a one-sided contest to hand his mother, Kajal, a perfect birthday gift on October 29. (Geet Sethi on Pankaj)

Shree never calls Pankaj in between games to allow the younger sibling stay focussed. Kajal said, "Shree never calls him (Pankaj). He says if he is comfortable, he will never call," Kajal said.

However Shree said, "When he needs he speaks to me - that's when he understands he is playing a negative game."

"I know in the middle of the match, when he is likely to lose; when he is likely to pick up," he said.

Kajal said that she doesn't speak anything about the game whenever Pankaj calls her, except for giving some encouraging words to boost his morale. "I don't speak anything about the game. What will I speak? What a mother speaks, giving some encouraging words," he said.

Pankaj is a man of steel, Shree said and does well in matches as he enjoys match pressure.

"He is better in matches. There are many players who do well during practice, but go down in matches. He loves match pressure," he said.

Shree said he advised Pankaj to apply the strategy he had applied against Mike Russell two years ago.

"I told him during the break - if you stay on the table you will do the damage," he said.

Pinpointing that he could be a good personal coach for Pankaj, Shree said, "He must pay well. I am ready - joking I am."

Before hitting the bed, Shree said Pankaj called him and thanked him for valuable inputs, which helped him clinch the third 'Grand Double' of his career.

Shree said after the interval Pankaj went on an overdrive and scored 700 and then 1000 in a span of three and half hours.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was one of the first few to congratulate the numero uno state hero via twitter but Shree says the fans are still awaiting a congratulatory message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.

"I have seen several people tweeting and questioning Narendra Modi - how come he has congratulated Sania Mirza, but not Pankaj, who won a world championship," said Shree.


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