Bangalore: Pankaj Advani opted out of the International Snooker Championship in China for which he had qualified and has decided to participate in the World Billiards Championship due to overlap of the dates.
The 27-year-old from Bangalore, who has won seven world titles, had made no secret of his bias for billiards. Thus, it came as no surprise that he decided to skip the China event and participate in the World Billiards Championship at Leeds, United Kingdom from Oct 18 to 28.
Advani said: "A few months ago, I took up the challenge of playing both billiards and snooker at the highest level and with a decision as unique as that, I was aware that there may be certain repercussions.
"And while an ideal situation would have allowed me to participate at both events, the clash of dates has forced me to pick one.
"Billiards has always been a test of the mind and endurance. I am very eager to play at the World Billiards Championship as I have always enjoyed playing at an event of such magnitude."
As the only active player to be competing at the highest level in both disciplines, Advani has been splitting his time between Sheffield, UK and India, and consequent to him withdrawing from the China event, he will have to pay a statutory fine.
Advani, who made his pro snooker debut this year, enjoyed a good run to qualify for China, defeating the likes of the legendary Steve Davis and former World No.1 John Higgins.