Taking a cue from Gopi

“The cue sports academy (set to come up in Hyderabad soon) is sure to usher in a new chapter in snooker and billiards,” says Capt. Mohan, the BSFI President. By V. V. Subrahmanyam.

Ever since he took over as the President of the Billiards & Snooker Federation of India, Capt. P. V. K. Mohan has created a good impression among the cue sport fraternity by not only conducting a number of international events but also with his efforts to give the sport a fillip. Now, he will formally ‘ground’ the much-awaited Cue Sports Academy in Hyderabad.

“Well, this has been a dream and it has been in the pipeline for a couple of years now because of various hurdles. Now the decks have been cleared and the work will begin in November,” says Mohan, who is also the Vice-President of the International Billiards & Snooker Federation, in an exclusive chat with Sportstar.

“The objective is to ensure that the players don’t lack anything in terms of facilities. This Academy (to be located at Nanakramguda, a 15-minute drive from the posh Jubilee Hills locality in Hyderabad) is sure to usher in a new chapter in cue sports,” he says.

The estimated cost of the academy, spread over 1.20 lakh square feet and housing 21 competition tables and 60 rooms for accommodating players and officials, is Rs. 15 crore.

“Honestly, Pullela Gopi Chand (former All England champion) has shown what a truly world-class academy can do for a sport. We are keen to make Hyderabad one of the destinations for cue sports in India. The academy is expected to be completed by 2016,” says Mohan.

Mohan, who was primarily responsible for Hyderabad hosting the World Snooker Championship a few years ago, makes it clear that it is not all about hosting events. “We are aware of the need to widen the popularity of the sport and also to have a huge pool of talent. For this, we are going to have a long-term plan. We are not confining ourselves to the metros alone; we plan to reach out to relatively lesser-known towns where there are many youngsters keen on taking up cue sports,” he says.

Even Geet Sethi acknowledged Mohan’s efforts in showcasing India’s ability to host five World Championships apart from seven Asian-level events. As for the funding for the academy, Mohan says: “As of now, we are still looking for sponsors. Anyone coming forward in this regard is welcome. After all, no sport can survive without financial support and it is not going to be easy always for the BSFI to bear the brunt.”