Ruing the lack of TV coverage of cue sports in India, seven-time world billiard champion Pankaj Advani Monday suggested a shorter format of cue sports on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to popularise the game in the country.
"Spectators now increasingly prefer watching points formats over the traditional format of the game. The shorter formats offer unpredictability and excitement and may be they are the way forward," Advani told mediapersons here.
"May be a tournament like the IPL having pool, snooker and billiards put into a short format might generate excitement. In China people are hooked onto the game because it is widely televised," said Advani at the Kolkata Open Snooker Championship which began here Monday.
Putting the onus on the sports federations, Advani called for organisation of more professional tournaments to popularise cue sports in the country.
"My only issue is the lack of TV coverage of cue sports. We need to have more tournaments and more TV coverage of the game. While it's the sports federation for to answer I feel there is need to take the game to rural areas and smaller cities and towns."
One of the rare players to be adept at playing both snooker and billiards, Advani said he wants continue his relationship both his "wife and mistress" - billiards and snooker, respectively.
"I want to take up the challenge of playing both snooker and billiards at the highest level simultaneously. I don't want to give up one sport for the other," said Advani as he likened billiards to his "wife" and snooker to his "mistress".
Observing that it was challenging to switch from billiards to snooker, Advani said he was enjoying both the games and was not willing to quit one for the other.
"The challenge lies in the ability of the player to play both the games at the highest levels. There may be a time when I may quit snooker and play only billiards or may concentrate only on snooker and see where it takes me. But as of now I am enjoying both the games," added Advani.