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Rediff.com  » Sports » If there's anything to prove, it's to myself: Pankaj Advani

If there's anything to prove, it's to myself: Pankaj Advani

Last updated on: November 2, 2012 09:30 IST

If there's anything to prove, it's to myself: Pankaj Advani

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Laxmi Negi

Champion cueist Pankaj Advani tells Laxmi Negi he was determined to prove he could perform at the highest level in both billiards and snooker after joining the Pro Snooker Circuit.

A look at Pankaj Advani holding his recently-won seventh World Billiards Championship trophy and you are thrown back to the time of Shah Rukh Khan's Fauji and Circus days. Both have this typical middle parting hairstyle, not to miss the shine in their eyes.

Apart from the physical features, when it comes to measuring their success, SRK is Bollywood's Badshah while Advani rules the green baize.

The 27-year-old Bangalore-based cueist made the tough choice of picking the World Billiards Championship in Leeds over the International Snooker Championships, due to a clash in the dates of the two tournaments, and went on to beat defending champion and seasoned Englishman Mike Russell in the final.

It is not by chance we are relating Advani with movies. As matter of fact, the reigning Asian Games gold medalist likes to dabble in the world of entertainment. He says that it explores another dimension of his personality.

"There have been a couple of movie offers. Actually, I got a lead role offer just before going to the World Championship this time, but I couldn't accept it due to time constraints," he informs, adding, but, at some point, I'd probably consider it more seriously."


Image: Pankaj Advani


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'A superior force is guiding me'

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Coming back to his chosen field, Advani repeated his World record feat of 2005 and 2008 by being the only person in the world to hold National, Asian and World titles in the same year.

Ask him the secret of his success, and he says, "A superior force is guiding me. The way I got out of near-elimination situations during the 2003 World Snooker Championship and then went on to win my maiden World title was simply a case of divine intervention.

"There have been many more such predicaments that I've been able to convert into wins. I think someone up there really likes me!"

Advani is the only active player to compete at the highest level in both billiards and snooker.


Image: Pankaj Advani

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Advani is in a league of his own

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Sounding a little nonchalant about his latest achievement, he points out, "Apart from the National and Asian Championships there wasn't much billiards for me to play. After joining the Pro Snooker Circuit I was determined to prove to myself that I could perform at the highest level in both sports. I'm pleased to have the best possible outcomes in all three major billiards events this year."

This was his eighth World title, the seventh in billiards. It puts him in a league of his own. It seems as if he is competing with himself.


Image: Pankaj Advani

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'The game is my passion and competing gives me a rush'

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"If I have anything to prove, it's to myself. This year I decided to play both billiards and snooker at the highest level to challenge myself to the max. With great wins over the likes of John Higgins and Steve Davis, and with this World billiards title, I'm glad I stretched myself. It keeps reassuring me of my capacity for the two sports."

Quiz him about his personal benchmarks and he makes no bones of his passion for the sport.

"I look more to enjoy the process of playing. The game is my passion and competing gives me a rush. I simply look forward to being engaged by the sports," he says.

On that note let's leave Advani to bask in the glory of his latest World title.


Image: Pankaj Advani


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