Pankaj Advani only dabbles in snooker these days at invitation events like the World Six-Reds and picking up a wild-card for the Indian Open, having returned to his first love and “wife” of billiards after a two-year fling with his “mistress”.
Billiards, outside of its Teesside hotbed at least, no longer has much mainstream allure in the UK but things are very different in India where Pune’s Advani, now 30, enjoys a huge profile – far higher than Aditya Mehta, the country’s leading snooker player.
Advani recently claimed the IBSF World Billards Championship title, incredibly a 14th world title in various forms of the sport, beating Singapore’s Peter Gilchrist by 1,168 points in the timed format final.
And one of the first to offer their congratulations was the President Of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee , who took to Twitter saying: “Hearty congratulations & best wishes to Pankaj Advani on winning the IBSF World Billiards Championship #PresidentMukherjee “
Advani courteously replied: “Thank you for your wishes Mr President!”
It is thought that Stuart Bingham is still waiting for his personal messages of congratulation from Prime Minister David Cameron and The Queen, over his sensational Crucible triumph in May.