Pankaj Advani rues missed chances in Indian Open snooker
Mumbai, March 11 (IANS): An obviously disappointed Pankaj Advani felt that lack of competitive play at the highest level in the past year since, he gave up his pro ticket cost him his match with Scotland's Rhys Clark in the wild card round on Tuesday night in the Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament here.
Reflecting on his 3-4 defeat to the 20-year-old Scot who hopes to join the pro tour in the near future, Advani admitted that not playing in England since giving up his pro ticket a year ago did impact his game. But Advani was all praise for his opponent who he said had tremendous talent and potential.
"May be the fact that I haven't played in England since giving up my pro ticket a year ago impacted my game. But I thought Clark played extremely well and showed good composure," said Advani speaking to the Media here Wednesday.
"I just wanted to hang in there and hope that Clark would crack in the decider, but he showed good composure. I had my chances, but could not capitalize. He played better and won."
Needing the last two colours to win the decider seventh frame, Advani slammed the pink to the centre pocket. But the ball wobbled in the jaw while the cue-ball went in-off in the top pocket instead of coming into position for the black which was on the spot.
Subsequently, Advani took the black to tie the scores, but the Scot doubled the re-spotted black into centre-pocket to clinch the match.
The 29-year-old Advani, who spent two seasons on the pro tour and was ranked 59 when he decided to give up the ticket, rued that none of the six Indian wild card entries, including himself, failed to make it to the main draw.
"So much effort has gone in to organise this event and I thought at least three of us could have won our respective wild card round matches.
"Faisal Khan was leading 2-0, but lost 2-4. Dharmendra Lilly led 3-1 and went down 3-4, while I had my chances to win," said Advani.
Advani, holder of 12 World titles, reiterated that he would not return to pro tour in the foreseeable future.
"I went to England to see for myself where I stand. I thought I could have done far better as I could break into top 64 within two seasons. But then, a lot of reasons led to me to give up the pro ticket.
"Yes, I was feeling homesick, but also dates of some of the professional snooker tournament dates were clashing with major billiards events. So, if I were to have stayed back, then I had to forget billiards for at least two more years," said Advani.