American Desi Prabhakar keen to sparkle

“It’s great to be back at the KSBA,” said the 40-year-old who is also the president of the United States Snooker Association (USSA). “I know there is going to be a lot of pressure but I am loving every bit of it. I am sure all my friends and well wishers from the KSBA and the Indian fraternity will be rooting for me, although I belong to a different country now.”

Prabhakar, son of an ITI employee, first shot into spotlight when he topped the 1989-90 KSBA State-ranking tournament.

In the subsequent National Championships he reached the semifinals and a year later represented India in the World under-21 snooker championship where he finished a respectable sixth.

However, despite the success, Prabhakar decided to leave for the United Kingdom in 1991 to pursue his studies and also try his hand at professional snooker. While he completed his engineering degree with some success, his foray into pro snooker did not fetch expected results and he soon shifted base to the United States where he started working for integrated circuits company. “It was kind of a bittersweet feeling to move to the US. But, from my career perspective it was an important move. I took up their citizenship in 2000, although at the same time I am proud of my Indian roots.”

After getting elected as the president of the USSA, Prabhakar was instrumental in the country’s successful staging of the World Team Snooker Championship in San Jose in 2007. “Considering there are a lot of immigrants in US, interest in snooker is very high.

My main aim now is to promote snooker there.

“We are trying our best to stage a pro-ranking event and hopefully we are able to do it by 2013. This will help expand the sport.”

“We are also trying to get world-renowed coach Dell Hill over to the United States to do some coaching. He is one of the best in the business and a stint with him will really motivate the guys.”

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