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Hyderabad cueist aims to make a mark in world championship

For Lucky Vatnani, the city’s best known cueist, it was yet another chance to prove a point when he got an entry into the prestigious World Snooker Championship in Doha which is set to begin from November 18.

Incidentally, Lucky is the third Indian to get this privilege after Manan Chandra and Sandeep Gulati. On the other hand, Pankaj Advani secured a direct entry having won the championship the last time around.

The 30-year-old Hyderabadi, sponsored by Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., believes that the “huge opportunity comes at the right time since the Nationals are fast approaching.” He says it is the season time for cue sports. “And what better way to start other than playing the biggest event in our sport.”

Thanks to Capt. P.V.K. Mohan, the president of International Billiards and Snooker Federation and president of Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, Indians are getting lot more opportunities to showcase their skills. “Yes, this is an indisputable fact. He has been truly amazing in giving a new direction to the sport,” says Lucky, showing gratitude to the city-based top official.

Lucky says that his first target is to get this top 16 mark and then win laurels for the State and the country. “I am really fortunate to have sponsors in Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., who are going out of the way to promote my cause. Their love for the sport is genuine and I am determined to live up to their expectations.”

On his preparations, the articulate cueist says he has been following a good routine starting with functional fitness training at F45 followed by meditation and then practice at the Telangana Cue Sports Association. “Here, I must tell you that the TCSA hall has undergone a complete tables make-over recently, which makes it a great facility to practice in the city, thanks again to Capt. Mohan,” he points out.

“So, it is not just the play facilities available for cueists in the State but also the kind of exposure by way of Hyderabad hosting some of the biggest events, like the recent Indian Open at Novotel Hyderabad,” says Lucky, who has already played in four world championships.

“Overall, I am pleased with the way I am staying focussed, but I am aware that I need a big win to merit bigger attention in the circuit. Yes, the efforts will be there to make amends,” he signs off, before joining the table for another long stint of practice.