Indian snooker ace Dr Khizar Raoof hopes to return to his dream of becoming a professional player – but only after he has played his part in the global fight against coronavirus.
The 35-year-old, a four-time snooker champion of Telangana state, is a primary urology consultant at Olive Hospital in Hyderabad.
“At present there about about 500 cases of coronavirus in Hyderabad,” he said. “The mortality is lower compared to the western world but the government along with health care professionals are working really hard to keep it under control. We have stopped all elective urology work but I do step in when there’s a superimposed urological problem.”
Raoof played in Q School in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and had hoped to give the tour qualifying school another crack this year. “I was going to enter. And I will do so if it happens later this year,” he said. “I’ve chalked out room for a snooker table at home as soon as this crisis is over. I don’t practise every day but I do compete.
“I am better on the mental side than I was a few years ago. There’s no pressure now. I love the thrill of it. I think I’m a cheekier player now.
“This was a time of the year I would always look forward to. I would be in Sheffield through the World Championship and after that at Q School. When I’m back in the UK I will enjoy and relish it more for sure.
“Everything after this crisis will be special and different. Be it time with the family, time for ourselves or the simple joy of potting a ball. We will relish it more for sure.”