This gentle Hyderabadi, who is doing his MS, will be only one of the two from India – the other one being Lucky Vatnani (also from the city) – to take part in the Q School event

Far away in the United Kingdom, Dr. Mohammed Khizar Raoof, who is pursuing Masters Degree in Surgery (Medicine), will represent India in the prestigious World Snooker Q-School event for the third time and with the hopes of an improved performance.

For this gentle Hyderabadi, who is doing his MS in Deccan College of Medical Sciences here, will be only one of the two from India – interestingly the other one being Lucky Vatnani (also from the city) – to take part in this Q School event.

Even if they qualify for the semi-finals in the Q-School event, it means eligibility to compete in the Professional Tour which offers a mind-boggling 4.5 million pounds for the calendar year.

Competing in the major world events is nothing new for the 28-year-old Khizar as he was there for the 2006 world professional billiards meet in Leeds (UK) and also attended the 2006 ‘Stars of the Future’ training programme in the famed World Snooker Academy (Sheffield).

A runner-up in the All India snooker shootout last year, Khizar’s passion for the sport is unmistakable.

Always taking time off to show his prowess on the green baize. “Essentially, the Q School event comprises a set of three tournaments in which 12 semi-finalists from each event will find a place on the professional snooker main tour and a chance to rub shoulders with the greats of snooker like Ronnie O Sullivan,” reminds Dr. Khizar.

“Yes, I will be leaving for WSA prior to the Q School to get used to the playing conditions and sharpen my skills. This itself is a huge experience for the top amateurs and professionals will be there in action at the Academy,” the Hyderabadi says.

How good are your chances?

“This year, I think I am seasoned enough to do well in the English conditions, brushing aside the home sickness which many of us Indians generally face in the circuit,” Khizar says with a big smile.

“Definitely, I have a feel of who is lined up against me in the Q-School event and am confident of pulling off a surprise win,” signs off the doctor with the deft hands in cue sports too.

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