BSFI president hopes to see cue sports in Olympics

Speaking to Sportstar here on Friday, Capt. P.V.K. Mohan was thrilled with the success of the Indian Open and the growth of cue sports in the country.

Capt. P.V.K. Mohan (L), president of the BSFI, was pleased with the exposure received by the local talent during the ongoing Indian Open.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

“My ultimate dream is to see that cue sports is included in the Olympics, for that will mean taking the sport to a new level on all fronts,” said Capt. P.V.K. Mohan, president of Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI).

Speaking to Sportstar here on Friday, Capt. Mohan said he was confident that Olympics will feature cue sports soon.

“We are making serious and sustained efforts and going in the right direction. I don’t think anyone will question if it happens, given the global following the sport has,” said the former IBSF (International Billiards and Snooker Federation) chief.

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Mohan pointed out to the growing popularity of cue sports across the country as a positive sign. “Just consider this. The 2016 Indian Open had a viewership of 10.77 million in India with 53% in rural areas. The sport is growing even in the North-East. There are more players now taking up cue sports,” he said.

The ongoing Indian Open tournament is four seasons old and Mohan was pleased with the exposure received by the local talent. “The whole objective of conducting Indian Open is to give the lesser-known Indian players a feel of what it means to compete at the highest level. Obviously, you don’t expect them to win straight-away. We felt they needed this kind of exposure and Pandurangaiah’s showing against former world champion Shaun Murphy in the first round is proof of the kind of talent we have.

“We are glad that the Indian Open has come to stay and is one of the most popular in the IBSF calendar for the way it is organised,” he said.

At a time in the country where top sporting bodies make the headlines for the wrong reasons, Mohan took pride in governing a well run organization. “I take pride in saying that unlike many national sports federations, there are no politics in BSFI. We are all a well-knit family. This is the biggest asset as players welfare is our top priority,” said the BSFI chief.

Mohan was confident that the Cue Slam League held last month will only get better and bigger. “The fact that the world body is also contemplating having a window for the Cue Slam League in its annual calendar is a testimony to the way we have organised things ,” he pointed out.

He also added that the BSFI has plans for grassroot development to unearth talent. “And, it is not that we are focussing only on these majors. We have plans to take cue sports to colleges and schools during vacations, giving them tables and lure more youth into it. You will see the difference very soon,” he said.