Pankaj Advani has decided to relinquish his place on the World Snooker Tour and resign his WPBSA membership, he announced at a press conference in India today.
However the 29-year-old still hopes to compete in the Indian Open in Mumbai in October and will try to win a place as a wild card via the regional qualifier in Pune (September 15-19).
Advani played on the World Snooker Tour in 2012/13 and 2013/14 and became the first Indian player to reach the quarter-finals of a world ranking event at the 2013 Welsh Open. He reached the same stage of the inaugural Indian Open last year, though he lost to eventual runner-up and World Games Gold Medalist Aditya Mehta. The ace cueman, who has won multiple World Billiards titles, has not played on snooker’s pro circuit this season
“Finally I have decided to play in the Indian wild card event and the World Billiards which happens immediately after,” said Advani today. “If I am playing an Indian wild card, I have to let go my professional tour card.
“I took this decision because I missed billiards and my family. I wouldn’t have been able to play billiards if I am based in England for six months. My sole objective has been to excel in both sports not just in one, and that will be possible if I am based in India.
“I had good results in snooker. I enjoyed myself and learnt a lot – sportsmanship, the approach to the game, conditions – everything was top class and that’s what I wanted – to improve as a player. I am glad I could achieve it in my own way.
“Maybe within the next three to four years I may go back, but not in the near future for sure. I will definitely go back to England and train. Letting go my professional card does not mean I am keeping England away. I will go two to three times there at least to train with top players and play in an open event.”