If one says his name is synonymous with cue sport, it is without any exaggeration. Pankaj Advani's achievements in the world of billiards and snooker could be anybody's envy. Seventeen international titles including the latest IBSF World 6-Red Snooker title in Egypt, Advani's list is growing. Add to it the 24 national titles, the Bangalore-based professional has taken the cue sport to dizzy heights.
The Khel Ratna awardee who created history by becoming the only player to win the shorter and the longer formats world of billiards and snooker, was befittingly felicitated at the Karnataka State Billiards Association here on Friday. What really touched everybody at the gathering was Advani's humility. He has remained the same humble man since he started playing billiards.
Advani may not exactly remember how many titles he has in his kitty. All that he knows is to keep winning, which he loves the most. But that does not mean he has not encountered a lean phase.
"During tough times, I would always share it with my parents who have stood by me all through my career," he said with a sense of gratitude in his voice.
Thanking his coach Arvind Savur for his invaluable coaching tips, Advani said the secret behind his success is to keep things simple. "Don't try too hard. When you go without expectations, you are successful."
The soft-spoken ace cueist is not the one to rest on the laurels, he was wants to keep winning as long as he can.
For the record, Advani defeated Kacper Flilpiak of Poland in the final last Sunday to win his maiden 6-Red world title.
Vidya V Pillai, another noteworthy woman cueist, who did well to win a bronze at the IBSF World Snooker in Egypt, was also feted on the occasion. A woman of few words, Vidya thanked her family for all the support.
The other famed woman cueists, R Umadevi and Chitra Magimairaj were also felicitated on the occasion. Minister for youth and sports affair, K Abhaychandra Jain also spoke on the occasion.
'Winning, losing part of sports'
Meanwhile, talking to dna's Joe Williams in Pune, Advani said: "Winning and losing is a part of any sports. Trophies and titles, besides awards does give a satisfaction but the real satisfaction is within the person who feels that he is doing what he has to do. I am hungry for more and at the same time I love what I am and want to be there for more time.
"Looking at these awards, I feel I have much more to deliver and make my country proud, and it also give me motivation to do much better day in a day out," said Advani.
Advani wanted this green baize sports to be included in Olympics. "I wish this sports becomes one of the Olympic sport, and winning a medal there with the national flag going up and the National Anthem being heard back ground, is what any sports men/women would dream," he said.
"Nobody is a master in any field and sport is no different. I might be a world champion but there is much more for me to learn and in giving my best I tend to learn more of the game."