The 36 years old cueist added another feather in his cap by registering his 11th senior National title in Bhopal yesterday. The 15 times winner of the IBSF World billiards championship, has also won the World team billiard championship once. along with many other accolades. Advani started to play professionally at the age of 12 years only.
The ace cueist played against his PSPB teammate Dhruv Sitwala 5-2 in a best of nine games in the finals.
Advani who is the only player to have won both the Asian and World championship in all forms of billiards and snooker with remarkable numbers in both of them, came in stronger with a break of 56 and 46 after Sitwala started with breaks of 64 and 42. It was a very interesting game of excellence where the players did not disappoint at all. Dhruv, a two-times Asian Billiards champion himself was off to a great start seizing the third game with a break of 84.
Fighting to conquer the fourth round with an amazing 101 but a costly lapse by him gave a small opportunity to Advani. The calm player then seized it and leveled it at 2-2 with a remarkable 127. Heading on, Advani finished with a 150 to have the lead of 4-2. Sitwala pulling up his socks with patience could manage a 137 but was unable to hold the balls together in the prime position and ended up handing over the chance to Advani which in retrospect defined the game itself.
Advani with an unfinished break of 148 won the final set and the game. Advani was pretty satisfied and grateful for the win, he stated after the match. He also said that it isn’t easy to crack a tournament like this, especially when you are playing with one of your good friends. He was more than happy with the 11th win in the National billiards championship and is proud of the 35th title overall.
In recognition of his achievements, the Government of India has bestowed several awards upon Advani: and Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor in 2018, Padma Shri in 2009, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honor in 2005-06, the Arjuna Award in 2004, and many more such awards for his exemplary performance in sports. He has made the Nation proud in a lot of ways by representing India at the World championships.
In a cricket-loving nation, playing a sport that has not been able to garner much-needed sport, this golden boy from Pune has managed to put India on the map of the World Billiard Championships more than once. Pankaj won his first Indian junior national billiard championship title in 2000, won it again in 2001 and 2003. The Prince of Pune has had his fair share of struggles along the way but has managed to create a legacy for the youngsters. This is the kind of passion the Country needs if we want to seize the Olympic games.