Snooker, billiards should be part of CWG, Asian Games: Pankaj Advani

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Pankaj Advani, who won 6 Reds Snooker titles at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, is welcomed by his mother (right), brother and fans on his arrival at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore on Tuesday.
New Delhi, July 2: Fresh from his recent World 6-Reds Snooker Championship triumph, ace cueist Pankaj Advani feels the time is right to make a push for billiards and snooker to be included in the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

"I think in both billiards and snooker we have been doing well in the last three four years. I think there needs to be a push for them to be included in the Commonwealth and Asian Games. We were there in the Asian Games but somehow this time we are not on the list of the Asian Games in South Korea, which is disappointing," Advani told PTI after landing in the capital today.

Back from Egypt where he won the World 6-Reds Snooker Championship on Sunday, the 27-year-old cueist along with national and Asian billiards champion Sourav Kothari and Mumbai player Dhruv Sitwala were given a rousing welcome by the media and the Delhi Billiards and Snooker Association (DBSA) team including secretary Ravi Tandon.

English billiards and snooker were part of the Bangkok (1998), Busan (2002), Doha (2006) and Ghuanghzou (2010) Asian Games in recent times.

Pankaj, who is an Arjuna Awardee, was the proud winner of the gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 edition and he still has a strong urge to compete in these Games.

"But with all our achievements, we should be part of more Asian and Commonwealth Games because we are a serious competitive sport. I don't know what happened to the bid that we are going to make it to the 2019 edition, I am not following it," said the Padmashree winner.

Advani, who has won seven world titles in billiards and two in snooker, created history by becoming the only player in the world to win world title in the longer and the shorter format of billiards and snooker after he won the IBSF 6-Reds event.

The Banglorean cueist said it really takes effort to juggle with two sports and formats. "I think that's one area where I have really been able to do well. Without boasting, I would admit that only I know how difficult it is to switch from billiards to snooker or from one format to another," said Advani who is in the capital to attend a couple of events.

PTI

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