Cue sports such as billiards, snooker, pool and their different variants are quite popular as a pass time hobby in many of the metro cities in the country. Unfortunately, not many people would ever plan on turning pro in the game in spite of India’s vast success in the field, which is quite disappointing.
What is also disappointing is the lack of knowledge among people about the glorious achievements in cue sports by Indians.
However, most of you reading this would be aware of Pankaj Advani. Pankaj has won many titles for the country in cue sports and at 30 years old, is still going strong with his style, technique and consistency. When Pankaj Advani cemented his name in the world of cue sports at the young age of 23, the Indian legend Yasin Merchant heaped praises, claiming that Advani brought the future to the present time for India in cue sports.
Today, we will share with you some statistics about cue sports that will make all Indians proud.
Strong performances at Asian Games
India has won a total of 15 medals in cue sports at the Asian Games from 1998-2010. It includes five gold medals, four silver and six bronze. The tally is one of the highest by a single nation in the different variants of cue sports held at the Asian Games.
The medals include singles, doubles as well as team competitions.
IBSF and WPBSA World Championships
India won its first IBSF World Championship back in 1958 through the efforts of Wilson Jones. India went on to win the championship another 15 times that saw the country produce multiple champions in both, the national and international stage. Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi, Pankaj Advani, Rupesh Shah, Ashok Shandilya and Manoj Kothari have all won the title for the country.
On the other hand, India has not been as successful at the WPBSF World Championships in comparison to the IBSF competition. Geet Sethi has been the most successful Indian at the competition with five championships to his name.
India’s top cue sports players
Two of India’s most successful players are Geet Sethi and Pankaj Advani, who share more than 40 national and international titles to their name at the senior level.
Pankaj Advani is a record title holder at the Asian and World Championships, winning both events more than any other player during their career. He has five Asian titles to his name and another eight world championships. In 2014, Advani, after winning the ISBF 6 red snooker championship became a record title holder in all formats of billiards and snooker.
On the other hand, Geet Sethi has eleven national titles to his name, most of which came in the 1980s. He is also a five time world professional billiards champion.
In spite of so many achievements at both national and international competitions, these sports do not get as much recognition or respect as they are not Olympic sports. The country now seeks players who can extend the legacy and popularize the sport further, which is crucial for the survival of cue sports.