Pankaj Advani urges Sports Ministry to encourage ‘other’ sports
Pankaj Advani urged the Sports Ministry to encourage sports which are not part of the quadrennial multi-sports events like the Asian Games or Olympics.
Ace cueist Pankaj Advani, on Saturday, urged the Sports Ministry to encourage sports which are not part of the quadrennial multi-sports events like the Asian Games or Olympics. The 21-time World Champion feels that because cue is not a part of any of these major sporting extravaganzas, the perception about cueists differs.
He went on to add that like every other sportsperson in the country, cueists also work hard to achieve success. "We are working as hard as every other athlete in the country”, he said before adding, “(But) because we are not in quadrennial events, we are not looked at that very seriously compared to those sports that are part of Olympics or quadrennial events and that is something the Sports Ministry will need to look at and review."
Advani also believes that a franchise-based televised league would do a whole lot of good in the growth of snooker and billiards in India. The 34-year-old star already has 21 world titles to his name, a tally which could very well go up to 23 by the end of September. Despite his success, cue, as a sport, has not been able to gain any popularity within the country.
When asked whether there was a lack of knowledge among the common people about the sport and which in turn could be affecting its popularity, Advani said, ”See for any sport to become popular it has to be televised. But the main thing, the need of the hour is to have a (franchise-based) league, which is televised and that is where (the media) should be asking this question to (BSFI Secretary, Devendra) Joshi.“ Of course, cue had its own league (akin to almost every other sport), 'Cue Slam', which was organised back in 2017. However, it has not taken place ever since.