My defeats make more news than wins: Pankaj Advani

My defeats make more news than wins: Pankaj Advani

"It's ironical that my losing makes more news than my winning nowdays. When I win it's like praises coming from all over places, but when I lose, it's like Oh! how come it happened. How did you lose? Very strange. You see very shocking reactions," Pankaj told PTI in an interview.

"I don't know what to do in that situation. Whether to feel happy that people expect so much from me or to feel disappointed that my being so low profile has been taken for granted. To get noticed, you have to be in the news for the wrong reasons. I can't do that, and so my win is taken for granted," the world champion said.

A miffed Pankaj went on to criticise the IPL, saying that more then sports, it is a mix of business and entertainment. "It's all about entertainment. Entertainment factor first than cricket. And people love all this," he said.

Pankaj, the youngest Asian to have won the IBSF titles for record a six times, said all the sports federations including Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) should take a leaf out of BCCI's book on how to successfully promote and market their sports.

"Not on the similar lines like IPL, but something like that. It's a general comment that all the federations including BSFI should follow the example of BCCI and learn ways to promote and market their sports," he said.

"It's my personal view. To make cuesports more spectator friendly and increase its base, you need to get more and more people involved in this game. Like exhibition matches in shopping malls.

"Basically, it's an indoor game, so organise a tournament in an open arena. You need to come out with something out of the box thinking, some radical ideas. And that's where federation must come in and think over it."

"Players' job is to perform. Do the country proud. People who governs the sport, they need to be more pro-active in marketing the game," said Pankaj, the only cueist to have won twin titles (point and time formats) at the IBSF World Billiards championships not once but twice.

Pankaj feels that it's high time the country starts appreciating heroes from other sports. "In India, when you talk about sports, most of the parents are of the view that it's a waste of academic future. This shows there lack of passion for sports.

"You have great sportspersons in every field where they have achieved everything they want. Huge bunch of achievers we have in India and that's inspirational," he said.
Expectations have always sat heavy on this young player's slim shoulders, but he's learnt to deal with them.

"I have reached a stage in my career where I don't have to prove anything to anyone. After winning seven world titles and five Asian titles, I really don't need to prove anything. If last five years results are to go by, I think I have done my bit and achieved everything," he said.

"My next aim is to become India's best sportsperson. To achieve everything that a sportsperson wants to achieve in his career. I am the best in cuesports and I have no qualms admitting that and there is no suspicion about that."

On upcoming tournaments, Pankaj said, "I will be participating in Asian Snooker championship in May in Thailand, World billiards and snooker championship in August, September and then Asian Games in November in China."

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