No Indian cueist managed to win a gold medal at the recently-concluded World Billiards Championships and the one who probably had the best chance could not be there because of a clash in scheduling.

India’s poster boy of cue sports, Pankaj Advani, an eight-time world champions, had to miss the event due to his qualification for the ‘International Championship’, one of the most prestigious major ranking snooker events.

While there were world champions in the mix like Geet Sethi, Rupesh Shah and Ashok Shandilya, the absence of any real danger from India was felt in the event played in the point and new long-up format in the 3-ball game.

What also took the sheen off the World Championships was when Mike Russell, one of the greatest of all time, got suspended from both formats for misconduct off the table.

With commitments of the professional snooker circuit keeping Advani occupied throughout the year, it was always going to be a scheduling challenge to defend his title in billiards this year without a sacrifice.

Last year, he forfeited his qualification to the inaugural International Championship in China to play billiards and the gamble paid off.

He became the only player in the world in 2012 to win the pro billiards world title (time format) while being an active pro snooker player.

However, this year the talented Indian decided to give the world billiards championship a miss in order to fully focus on snooker.

Had the International Championship not coincided with the World Billiards Championship, could India have brought a world title home?

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