The 23-time world champion, Pankaj Arjan Advani, is an Indian billiards and snooker player. He has won the IBSF World Billiard Championship fifteen times and the World Team Billiards Championship one time. Advani also won the IBSF World Snooker Championship three times, the IBSF World Team Cup one time and the IBSF World Team Championship one time. Advani, the prince of India, is the only cueist to win the Asian and World Championships in all formats of Billiards and Snookers. He has the maximum number of IBSF World Championships in Billiards and snooker.
Advani is the only Indian to win the amateur world title in both snooker and billiards. He won the “Grand Doubles” on three occasions, Bangalore (2008), England (2014), & Myanmar (2018).
Pankaj Advani: Childhood and Education
Pankaj Advani was born to a Sindhi family in Pune on 24th July 1985; Advani spent his initial years in Kuwait before moving to Bangalore, India. Pankaj went to Frank Anthony Public School, Bangalore, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College.
- Occupation: Indian Snooker and Billiards Player
- Date of Birth: 24th July 1985
- Age: 35
- Home Town: Pune, Maharashtra
- Spouse: Saniya Shadadpuri
- Children: None
- Nationality: Indian
Pankaj Advani: Interest in Sports
When he was 10, Advani developed an immense interest in snooker and was trained by a former National Snooker Champion, Arvind Savur. At the age of 11, Pankaj won his first-ever title and went on to set several records at the state and national levels. In 2000, he won his first Indian Junior Billiards Championship title and went on to win it again in 2001 and 2003. In 2003, he also won the Senior Snooker Championship, which made him the Youngest National Snooker Champion at the age of 17.
Pankaj Advani: Billiards career
- 1999- 2005: International debut In 1999, Advani made his international competitive debut at the World Billiards Championship in England. In 2005, he won the IBSF World Billiards Championship at Qawra, Malta, and became the first to achieve a “Grand Double” by winning both the time and point formats.
In 2005, Advani won all five national, regional, and world billiards tournaments in a single season by winning the Indian Junior National Championship and Senior National Championship, the Asian Billiards Championship, and the World Billiards Championship.
- 2012- 2014: After winning the Asian Billiards Championship in Goa, in 2012, Advani became the first player to win 5 Asian Billiards Champion titles. In October 2012, Pankaj won his 7th World Billiards Championship title and 8th World title overall by beating Mike Russell (nine-time WPBSA World Billiards Champion). On 14th August 2014, Advani won the first-ever World Team Billiards Championship held in Glasgow, Scotland, with Rupesh Shan, Devendra Joshi, and Ashok Shandilya.
- 2017- Present In February 2017, Advani won his 29th National Championship title at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana in Pune, India. Pankaj Advani won a total of 60 titles in 2017, including 19 world titles, 8 Asian titles, 2 Asian games titles, 1 Australian Open title, and 30 national titles.
In 2018, Advani won his 7th Asian Billiards Title in Myanmar, making him the maximum holder of the Asian Title.
Pankaj Advani: Snooker career
- 2003- 2014 In 2003, Pankaj Advani won the IBSF World Snooker Championship in China when he was 18 years old and became the youngest Indian to win the title. In 2013, Welsh Open, he became the first Indian player to reach the quarter-final stage of a ranking event. At the end of the season, Advani was able to finish inside the top 64 in the world rankings for the first time and was ranked 56.
- 2015- Present After a break from snooker in May 2015, Advani made history by winning the Asian 6- Red Snooker Title and became the first player in the world to hold the world title as well as the continental title at the same time. He won the six red National Snooker Championships in Ahmedabad in March 2020, bringing his total number of national championships to 34.
- IBSF World Billiards Championship (Point Format) – 7 (2005, 2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- IBSF World Billiards Championship (Long Format) – 8 (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018)
- World Team Billiards Championship – 1 (2014)
- IBSF World Snooker Championship (15 Reds) – 3 (2003, 2015, 2017)
- IBSF World Snooker Championship (6 Reds) – 2 (2014, 2015)
- IBSF World Team Cup – 1 (2018)
- IBSF World Team Championship – 1 (2019)
- Asian Games
- 2006 Asian Games, Doha - Gold Medal (English Billiards- Singles)
- 2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou - Gold Medal (English Billiards - Singles)
- Asian Titles – 10
- Billiards – 7 (2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2017, 2018)
- Snooker – 3
- Asian Snooker Title (6 Reds) - 2016
- Asian Snooker Title (15 Reds) - 2019
- Asian Team Snooker Title (2017)
- National Championships – 34
- Junior National Billiards – 7
- Junior National Snooker – 4
- Senior National Billiards – 10
- Senior National Snooker (15 Reds) – 9
- Senior National Snooker (6 Reds) – 4
Pankaj Advani: Awards and Honors
- Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor, 2018
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India’s highest sporting honor, 2005–06
- Rajyotsava Prashasti, Karnataka’s second-highest civilian honor, 2007.
- Karnataka’s “Kempegowda Award”, 2007.
- Eklavya Award, Karnataka’s highest sporting honor, 2007
- The vision of India’s “International Indian” Award, 2005.
- Senior Sportsperson of the Year, 2005
- The Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore Award, 2005
- The Bangalore University Sportsperson of the Year, 2005
- The Hero India Sports Award, 2004
- The Rajiv Gandhi Award, 2004
- The Arjuna Award, 2004
- The Indo-American Young Achievers Award, 2003
- The Sports Star Sportsperson of the Year, 2003
Pankaj Advani: Love Life
Pankaj Advani married Saniya Shadapuri on 6th January 2021. The player said that he met Saniya in Bangalore by coincidence. “She came there on a last-minute work assignment and was put up close to my cousin’s house where I was to visit, so the timing was perfect! We ended up talking for four-five hours that night. We connected and spoke our hearts out.” he confessed. To this, Saniya adds, “He disappeared for three days after that. After I read about him, I was keen to know the person behind all that he had achieved”.
The couple decided to marry in March 2020 but had to postpone it due to the pandemic. The couple got married in January 2021 and now has decided to move to Bangalore.
Pankaj Advani: Snooker Since Age 10
Pankaj Advani developed his love for the sport when he was just ten and made himself a world champion. The player has proved that where there is a will, there’s a way, and without determination, there is nothing a person can’t achieve. Perfectly managing his personal and private life, Advani has become an inspiration for young people.