Indian cueist Pankaj Advani has expressed his disappointment at the exclusion of billiards and snooker in the upcoming National Games scheduled in Gujarat this month.
“It comes as a great disappointment that Billiards and Snooker has not been included in the National Games this year in Gujarat. As per the IDA directive, Billiards & Snooker were part of the 2019 National Games which were scheduled to be held in Goa. However, it is extremely unfortunate that our sport has been excluded from the deferred edition which is to be held in Sep/Oct, 2022,” Advani, a 23-time IBSF World Champion, wrote in a letter to the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
Advani emphasised the impact representation at the National Games would have on cue sports in India.
“Governments and PSUs honour and reward National Games medalists handsomely and it is only fair that the Billiards and Snooker fraternity should get an opportunity to vie for these honours. Billiards and Snooker is a priority sport as per the Sports Code charter and dropping it will have serious repercussions on the future of the game,” Advani added.
The multi-event sporting showcase returns after a gap of seven years. It was last held in Kerala in 2015.
The National Games will be held across six cities of Gujarat — Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Bhavnagar. Gujarat will host the National Games for the first time. This will be the 36th edition of the National Games, and an estimated 7,000 athletes will take part across 36 sporting disciplines. The Games will see participation from all 28 states and eight Union Territories