PANKAJ Advani has quit his place on the main tour citing a desire to play more billiards events and to spend more time with his family.
The 29-year-old and world number 57 has resigned his WPBSA membership and announced the news during a press conference in India held yesterday (Friday).
Advani joined the main tour in 2012 after an impressive run to the final of the Asian Championship and a promising future in the game looked on the cards when he became the first Indian player to reach the quarter finals of a major ranking event when he made the last eight of the Welsh Open last year beating former world champions Shaun Murphy and Graeme Dott in the process.
Later in the year he again reached the quarter-finals in his native homeland when the first ever Indian Open was held before losing to eventual runner-up and fellow countryman Aditya Mehta.
But Advani has been weighing up his future for some time and has not featured in any of this season’s events so far.
“I took this decision because I missed billiards and my family,” he said.
“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.”
However Advani has said he hopes to compete in next month’s Indian Open as a wildcard entrant should he be successful in the regional qualifiers taking place in Pune later this month.
“Finally I have decided to play in the Indian wild card event and the World Billiards which happens immediately after,” he added. “If I am playing an Indian wild card, I have to let go my professional tour card.
“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.”