It is quite a shock that I am not competing anymore: ace cueist Sourav Kothari

Even though Sourav cannot visit a club for practice because of the coronavirus lockdown, the 35-year-old’s life revolves around the game at his home in Kolkata.

Sourav, a World billiards champion in 2018, is fortunate to have Manoj (also a former World billiards champion) and Neeta (a former World ladies billiards championship bronze medallist) as parents.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Even as he regrets not being able to fulfill his Pro Circuit snooker dream, top cueist Sourav Kothari is staying in touch with the game with some guidance from his parents in the lockdown period.

Sourav, a World billiards champion in 2018, is fortunate to have Manoj (also a former World billiards champion) and Neeta (a former World ladies billiards championship bronze medallist) as parents.

So, even though he cannot visit a club for practice, the 35-year-old’s life revolves around the game at his home here.

“I have been doing the bending down exercise over the dining table for many years. I do it over the study table when I stay in a hotel. Even though I am not executing a shot, it is important to stay in touch physically and keep doing the eyeball movement,” Sourav told Sportstar.

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“If I miss the practice for a longer period, I take 30 to 35 hours to get back on top of my game. Here, I have not practiced for 40-45 days!

“I used to travel 15-18 days a month. It is quite a shock that I am not competing anymore. I was prepared to give my best and switch to Pro Circuit this year. I should have been in Sheffield competing in Challenge Tour now, but everything is gone.”

Sourav is watching old videos to relive his moments of glory and pick up a few points from other champion cueists.

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No motivation

Having Manoj, the National chief cue sports coach, by his side always helped Sourav. “It’s tough as there is no motivation of playing in a tournament. Sourav is doing the bending down exercise for 30 minutes to one hour and some stretching. Watching the videos keeps you connected,” said Manoj, the head of coaching at the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports.

Sourav is exploring some new things in life, including growing a beard. “I could never grow a beard as it could get stuck with the cue. Now I enjoy doing it. My father has also grown a beard. I am cooking a lot, reading and trying to be a little more organised,” he signed off.