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Pankaj Advani


Pankaj Advani amasses world title number 20

Yangon, Nov 15 (PTI) India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani on Thursday won his third straight IBSF billiards crown in the 150-up format, taking his overall tally of world titles to a staggering 20.

The 33-year-old from Bengaluru overcame Nay Thway Oo of Myanmar in a high-quality final. After bossing the ‘150-up’ format, Advani will now compete in the longer version, ‘Up’ format, commences immediately.

It was also a proud moment for Myanmar which saw its own player in the title round for the first time. Nay Thway Oo did well to oust multiple world champion Mike Russell in the semifinal with a convincing 5-2 victory.

With home support and overall advantage the one thing that was evidently lacking was the experience of competing in a World Championship final as Oo was denied much opportunity to reproduce the magic of his previous match.

Up against the man to beat in the world of billiards, Oo wasn’t given much breathing space as Advani was clearly on a mission to retain his title. And he did so with absolute supremacy. His flow and fluency left even the local crowd in awe of his prowess as they saw the visitor steal the dream from its national hero.

Advani started off the final with a century break of 108. But since he wasn’t able to settle down at the top of the table, the high-scoring zone, he couldn’t reach the 150-mark of the frame, allowing his opponent on to the table.

Oo, however, did not capitalise and the Indian drew first blood. But the Myanmar cueist was determined to put up a fight and made the score 1-1 with the help of a 147 break.

The Indian pulled one back to maintaining the lead with breaks of 91 and 54 to go 2-1 up. However, Oo was not going to relent and added another century to make the score two apiece.

But it was from there that Advani went into overdrive and never looked back.

The next four frames in the race-to-6 encounter saw Advani play with sheer dominance as he compiled four back-to-back centuries of 141, 129, 145 and 151 to stamp his authority on the contest.

“This win is extremely special for me. It’s a perfect 20 and I’m glad that I’m still hungry for more. It’s pleasing to be able to play at a quality level over the years and looking to take this tally beyond a score’,” said the champion.

As Advani played the winning shot, the sporting Myanmar cueist clapped, smiled and rose from his chair to congratulate his worthy opponent.

While this is yet another world title for the maestro, this win also marks a hat-trick of wins in the shorter format. Advani had won in his hometown Bengaluru in 2016 before doing the same in Doha last year.

Earlier in the tournament, Pankaj qualified top of his group without dropping a frame. In the entire tournament it is to be noted that another record was created when he dropped a total of only three frames – one in the quarterfinal against Dhvaj and two in the final.

Scores (Knockout) Final: Pankaj Advani beat Nay Thway Oo 6-2 150(108)-21, 0-151(147), 151(91,54)-0, 4-151(103), 151(141)-11, 150(129)-81(77), 151(145)-109(52,57), 151(151)-0

Semifinal: Pankaj Advani defeated David Causier 5-0 150(97)-73, 152(139)-17, 152(83,69)-8, 151(151)-4, 157(74,51)-86(83).

India settle for silver in Asian Team Snooker Championship

India settle for silver in Asian Team Snooker Championship

Doha, Sep 22 (PTI) India settled for the silver medal after losing to Pakistan 2-3 in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship here.

After Babar Masih put a fluent 81 break to win the first frame against Pankaj Advani, Malkeet Singh restored parity with a 52 break win over Mohammad Asif.

The doubles were the turning point where Asif played out of his skin to pull back a 62-point deficit and allow his partner Masih to wrap up the frame 70-72.

Pushed on the back foot, Pankaj displayed fine potting to craft a frame-winning 68 break.

It was then again down to Malkeet to save the day for India, but he could not on this occasion.

Hours before that, Malkeet played the match of his life under pressure to clinch the deciding frame against Pakistan 2 and a berth for the Indian team in the final.

Pakistan-1 beat India 3-2

Pankaj Advani lost to Babar Masih 2-110(81)

Malkeet Singh defeated Muhammad Asif 81(52)-47

Doubles Pakistan beat India 70-72

Pankaj Advani beat Muhammad Asif 107(68)-5

Malkeet Singh lost to Babar Masih 18-98.

Anurag Thakur, MS Dhoni
Credits: PTI

Ex-BCCI Chief Anurag Thakur congratulates Padma Bhushan award recipients

Former BCCI President Anurag Thakur, on Monday, congratulated MS Dhoni, billiards champion Pankaj Advani and other Padma Bhushan recipients.

Moreover, Dressed in an army uniform, Dhoni marched past the dignitaries present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan – to receive the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind.

The 37-year old Dhoni holds the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel. He was appointed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army by Army Chief General VK Singh on November 1, 2011.

Incidentally, Dhoni received award exactly seven years since lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup as India skipper in Mumbai on April 2, 2011, against Sri Lanka.

Anurag Thakur, MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni and his wife with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo Credit: Web.

But, Dhoni became the eleventh cricketer to receive the coveted honour. The He is the most decorated skipper in the history of Indian cricket. He led India to number one ranking in Tests, World T20I, World Cup and Champions Trophy titles.

With this award, Dhoni’s already impressive haul of trophies has become further impressive. He has won the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win it twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2009.

On the other hand, Advani has also enjoyed a distinguished career. He won gold twice at the Asian Games in 2006 and 2010, in addition to several other memorable wins.

Anurag Thakur, MS Dhoni,
Pankaj Advani with the Prime Minister

In contrast, Anurag Thakur was quick to congratulate the duo and others, taking to Twitter to convey his regards.

“Heartiest congratulations to the #PadmaAward recipients. These awards ‘celebrate the achievements of exemplary individuals who have been working selflessly and assiduously at the grassroots level’ and through their accomplishments/impact inspired millions,” he tweeted.

Here is the newsfeed:

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MS Dhoni To Receive Padma Bhushan Today

MS Dhoni, recipient of Padma Bhushan, will receive the award today (April 2) from President of India.

He became the eleventh cricketer to be announced for the award by the Government of India.

MS Dhoni To Receive Padma Bhushan Today 3
MS Dhoni (Image Source: Twitter)

Dhoni was already awarded Padma Shri back in 2008.

India’s most successful captain across format, Dhoni led India World Cup victory in 2011.

Under him, India also won T20 World Cup in 2007 and ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.

He holds the distinction of being the only captain to win three ICC Trophies.

India also climbed to number 1 spot in Test ranking under Dhoni.

The former India captain retired from Test cricket in 2014, handing over the baton to Virat Kohli.

In January 2017, he decided to step down from the post of captain of limited-overs captain as well.

He now only plays as wicketkeeper-batsman and is expected to take a call on his career after 2019 World Cup.

Meanwhile, the upcoming season of IPL will be the next assignment for him.

He is leading the comeback franchise.

MS Dhoni To Receive Padma Bhushan Today 4

Under Dhoni, CSK have also won two IPL titles.

The team has already kicked off preparations for IPL 2018.

CSK also played a practice match on Sunday (April 1) and Dhoni gave it a miss as he had flown to Delhi to collect his award today.

Chennai Super Kings open their IPL campaign against Mumbai Indians in the first game of IPL on April 7.

The match will be played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

Before the start of the contest, an opening ceremony will also take place at the same venue.

Chennai Super Kings play their first home game on April 10 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Along with Dhoni, Pankaj Advani will also receive Padma Bhushan.

Here is the news feed:

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Advani retains Asian Billiards title with ease

Yangon, March 25: Pankaj Advani defended his title at the Asian Billiards Championships by pulverising his practice partner B. Bhaskar 6-1 in the summit clash here, while Amee Kamani bagged the Asian Women’s Snooker title by blanking her Thai opponent Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan 3-0.

Riding the win, Advani remained the reigning Indian, Asian and World champion in billiards for 2017-18.

This is Advani’s 11th gold medal at the Asian level of cue sports.

After losing the first frame, thanks to a well-crafted 100 by Bhaskar, the rest of the match saw Advani dominate for every mistake made by Bhaskar with a frame-winning break.

Advani left the spectators mesmerised with top quality billiards as he scored a deadly barrage of breaks in the final consisting of 102, 83, 94, 96 and 99.

Advani scored heavily in the fourth and fifth frames, not allowing Bhaskar to put a single point on the board.

These two frames appeared to be the turning point of the tie as it kept Bhaskar away from the table while Advani grew from strength to strength, making him invincible from that point on.

There were spirited attempts thereafter of a comeback from the eventual silver medalist Bhaskar but Advani was in no mood to let his lead and title go.

He completed the proceedings with a world-class 99 break to seal the match and championship yet again. Bhaskar is yet to win an Asian title.

Amee meanwhile remained undefeated throughout the group stage and earned top-seed slot for the knockout stage where she knocked out Aye Ming Aung of Myanmar 3-0 (in Quarters) and Ka Kai Wan of Hong Kong 3-1 (in semis) before scripting the history against the Thai girl.

Another Indian woman, Keerath Bhandaal the earned bronze medal for India by reaching the semi-finals.

For India, it remained one of the best overseas performance under the leadership of Indian coach Ashok Shandilya and now all returning home with total 6 Asian medals.

Kapil Dev with the 1983 World Cup at the Lord's belcony

Top Glorious Sporting Moments in the Post-Independence Era for India

Sport is a culture sans boundaries. It is everywhere. It is powerful and can become an obsession. It unites and motivates. It shows us the path to ultimate glory. It has many forms but as together everyone calls it life with any second thoughts.

Such is the beauty of sports.

The influence of sports in India is no different. From the time when the Royals hunted animals to Major Dhyanchand teaching the world the lesson of world domination with a hockey stick, India has been one of most passionate sporting nations.

It’s a sad fact that we are yet to realise our full potential but, at the same time, we have had our own heroes who have been the trailblazers and an inspiration for the following generations.

As we celebrate our 70th Independence Day, let’s take a look back into our history and cherish our greatest achievements in the post-Independence era.

Note: The following list is not ranking based and written according to the timeline


Twitterati Slam Pankaj Advani For Taking A Dig At Cricketers

India’s leading cueist Pankaj Advani bore the brunt of the fans on Twitter after he took a sly dig at the cricketers following the win against Pakistan in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship on Wednesday (July 5). Advani teamed up with Laxman Rawat to outplay Pakistani duo of Mohammad Bilal and Babar Masih as he won the title-decider with an impressive margin of 3-0.

Delighted with the win, Advani, who was the only player in the tournament not to lose a single individual match in the team event, took to Twitter to express his happiness but in doing so invited unnecessary criticism by taking a shot at the popularity that the cricketers enjoy in this cricket-obsessed country.

“We r not demigods, we r not cricketers.. We r the Asian Team Snooker Champions 2017 ? What a feeling!,” he tweeted.

And while his tweet was right to a certain extent, it did not go down too well with the fans who felt that the message was totally uncalled for since the cricketers are also representing the country just like him.

But at the same time, there were some who agreed with Advani and felt that other sports also deserve the same treatment as cricket.

Pankaj Advani is disappointed that he didn't receive the Padma Bhushan award.

Jwala Gutta, Pankaj Advani Shares Disappointment Over Padma Bhushan Snub

Two of country’s most significant and consistent performers across their genre, Pankaj Advani and Jwala Gutta, have shown their disappointment on social media, after being snubbed from receiving the coveted Padma Bhushan award.

On Wednesday, eight of the many sports personality were bestowed with the second-highest civilian award Padma Shri, including the likes of cricketer Virat Kohli and Rio Games heroes Dipa Karmakar and Deepa Malik.

Pankaj Advani, who recently won the National Billiard Championship, was congratulated by the Sports Minister of India Vijay Goel on twitter saying he (Advani) is synonyms to winning and also wished him best of luck for the future.

In reply, the 14-time world champion and two-times Asian gold medallist said, he has done enough to get the Padma Bhushan, and if since he has been ignored again, he doesn’t know what to come up with.

Jwala Gutta, who has won the National Badminton Championships fifteen times voiced her concern for being ignored yet again. In an image she uploaded on twitter, Gutta said she had applied for this prestigious award, knowing her contribution she has made in Badminton in the country for over 15 years.

She further added she didn’t have any recommendations or credentials to move her case ahead, which is indeed sad.

The list of sports personality who received Padma Shri is: Virat Kohli (Cricket), Shekar Naik (Cricketer), Vikas Gowda (Discus Throw), Deepa Malik (Athletics), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Athletics), Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics), PR Sreejesh (Hockey) and Sakshi Malik (Wrestling).

Pankaj Advani is disappointed that he didn't receive the Padma Bhushan award.

Pankaj Advani Wins Kolkata Open Snooker Meet

Kolkata, Jan 8 (IANS) Cuesports ace Pankaj Advani put up a flawless display to outclass Aditya Mehta 5-1 and win the 3rd Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship 2017 here on Sunday.

The tournament was organised by the West Bengal Billiards Association at the Bengal Rowing Club.

Mehta, who had won the previous two editions of the championship, started off strongly, but Pankaj took the game away as soon as he got the chance. In the first frame, Advani was trailing 23-56, but he took advantage of Mehta’s miss as he posted a break of 60 to take a 1-0 lead.

“The way Aditya started, I never thought I would get to win the first frame. I think winning the first frame gave me the confidence to go ahead for a win. Had he managed to start off in a better way and finished it off to be 1-0 up, things could have been very different. When you know your opponent is very capable, you know you have to make use of the chances you get because you know there are going to be very few of them,” Pankaj said after the win.

“I thought that whatever chances I get, I will get to score. I tried to play well today, I think I exceeded my own expectations and performed exceptionally well today.”

It was challenging second frame with both the cueists refusing to concede an inch. Mehta led 13-9 before Advani wrapped it up in an unfinished 67 break with only the colours left. Mehta led 47-5 but Advani held his composure to cruise to a 3-0 lead and then was up 4-0 at the break.

After the break, Mehta thundered to a 101-0 lead with the first century break but it was too little too late as Advani produced his best in the sixth game to win his maiden title in the Kolkata Open with an identical break of 101.

Pankaj Advani is disappointed that he didn't receive the Padma Bhushan award.

Easy Wins For Advani, Mehta In National Snooker Meet

Kolkata, Jan 4 (IANS) Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani and reigning national champion Aditya Mehta had facile outings on the first day of the 3rd Kolkata Open national invitation snooker championship at the Bengal Rowing Club here on Wednesday.

The major upset of the day was Dharminder Lilly, the current world champion (Masters), biting the dust against Laxman Rawat. Kolkata boy and Arjuna award winner Sourav Kothari was stretched to six games before finally prevailing over the reigning West Bengal state champion Benay Agarwal.

Playing against Lilly, Delhi cueist Rawat won the first three games in no time before the current world champion (Masters) staged a comeback with a 62-8 win. But he could not sustain the momentum, losing 47-49 to hand a 4-1 win to Rawat.

Advani and Mehta won their matches with identical scores of 4-0 over Sreevardhar Poddar and Benay Agarwal respectively.

Mehta, the country’s only professional snooker player, notched up the day’s biggest break of 102 in the third game.

The current India No.2 in billiards, Sidharth Parikh, won a see-saw battle with Sandeep Gulati that went the full distance of seven games.

Gulati won the first two games even as Parikh drew level in the next two. Gulati and Parikh won the next two games respectively. It was only in the last game that Parikh managed to pull ahead 59-17, to seal the tie.