Rawat aims to make big at the professional snooker circuit

Laxman, who won the 2019 World 6-red snooker championships, comes across as one, who is eager to make a strong impact at the National and International arena.

Laxman Rawat is in Chennai to compete in the Ajay Rastogi All India Open Snooker Tournament.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Laxman Rawat is relaxing in a modest guest house at Royapettah on a wet Monday evening. The 28-year-old, the 2019 World 6-red snooker champion, is here to take part in the Ajay Rastogi All India Open Snooker Tournament, as the top seed.

Sporting a T-shirt of his employer Indian Oil Corporation, Laxman comes across as one, who is eager to make a strong impact at the National and International arena.

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“It’s been a long time since we played any tournament because of the pandemic. This is my first in 8-9 months. Moreover, Chennai is my favourite city as I generally have done well here. In fact, my first invitational tournament was here at the Alumni Club in 2011 where I reached the semifinals of the senior event,” Laxman told Sportstar.

His dream for a while has been to do well at the professional snooker circuit. In the recent past, only Aditya Mehta has made it to the circuit. “I played pro last year in the shoot-out at Warford and reached the third round,” he said.

Laxman praised Aditya for being an inspiration for all those who want to make it to the pro circuit.

“He (and Pankaj Advani) advises me on how to go about it. They have been really helpful. Since Aditya has been in the pro snooker for 10 years, he has given me sound advice. More than that, he is a fine human being,” he said.

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Laxman also wants to perform well in the Senior National championships. Having lost in the semifinals early this year and in the final in 2019, he is keen to do one better. “If you are in the top 3 you can go to a lot of International tournaments representing the country. Doing well in the Nationals is a top priority for me,” said the India No. 3.

Laxman is batting for the revival of the cue sports league, which was last held in 2017. “The league was good and promoted well. A lot of people watched it, and it had good money. It will definitely help the sport grow,” he said.

Having won the 2019 World 6-red snooker championships defeating Pankaj in the semifinals and Pakistan’s Mohd. Asif in the final, Laxman is not ready to predict anything in the Worlds next year. “6-red is fast-paced and is like T20 cricket. Anything can happen,” he said.