The Next Man Up
Man's World|November 2021
Behind Pankaj Advani’s success lies a tale of grit, patience, and single-minded determination. India’s billiards and snooker champion shares his journey, ups and downs, and discusses the importance of mental health in sportsmanship
Veenu Singh

Pankaj Advani, India’s billiards and snooker champion, couldn’t have asked for a better year. After several delays due to the pandemic, he finally got married in the month of January. But that’s not all. Advani has just returned to India with his 24th World Title from the recently concluded IBSF6-Red Snooker World Cup, where he defeated Pakistan’s Babar Masih in the finals. A few days before this, he had taken the gold at the Asian snooker championship too.

“Winning these championships was like living a dream. My wife, Saniya, has proved to be lucky for me,” says the 36-year-old cueist on a phone call from Bengaluru.

As a child, Advani played sports like badminton, cricket, basketball, and table tennis fairly well, but not with any passion.

“My only ambition as a child was to be a pilot, so I could travel all over the world. This is also a passion that my sport has given ample opportunities to indulge, besides the laurels,” says Advani.

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