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Indian cueist and former Asian billiards champion Sourav Kothari on Tuesday lashed out at the sport's officials blaming them for billiards and snooker's Asian Games snub since 2010.
"How can this sport be unceremoniously relegated from Asian Games? It is unthinkable," Kothari said on the sidelines of the Bengal Premier Snooker League here.
"You have a Commonwealth Games in India and you cannot put Billiards and Snooker. It will assure you atleast four-five medal. I am not being arrogant. We have players of that aptitude," the Arjuna award winner said.
Kothari, who won gold in the 2014 Asian Billiards Championship, blamed the administrators for the game's plight in recent times adding there is no accountability and lack of foresight that is "killing" cue sports in the country.
India also won one silver and two bronze medals at that event.
"It is the administrator's fault that this sport in not in Asian Games today. The flip side is at the national level you need new faces which is not coming. There is no effort in coaching.
"I have problems with the administration and I think that it is high time that there is accountability. There is lack of that at various levels of administration. The moment accountability comes people become careful.
"Petty politics and short sightedness has to stop. It is killing the sport," Kothari fumed.
In 2010, country's ace cueist Pankaj Advani bagged gold in the English Billiards singles event in Guangzhou, China. Since then, it has been off the charts. Cue sports, for the record was part of Asian Games from 1998-2010.
Kothari, who bagged his second national Billiards title last year beating Siddharth Parekh 5-2 in the final, said there has to be heroes in cue sports and that is where the administrators at various levels have failed.
"Sport can reach a certain level if you have heroes. In our sport, how much can one or two or three people take the sport ahead.
"You have to promote the sport instead of your vested interests. I am sorry to say but there is too much personal and short-term vested interest that is being promoted at the moment at the cost of the sport."
The Union Sports Ministry, Kothari said, is ready to pump in money and there is no dearth of finances. Kothari added that new faces are not coming up cue sports and that is because they don't see a future in it.
"There is no problem from the ministry. Having understood the system a little better now, I can say the ministry is ready to give money. There is lack of foresight among administrators. People just want to do tournaments.
"After me and Pankaj now there is nobody. The youngsters are earning 30-40 thousand a month how can they sustain? There is no dearth of money. Today a training camp has started and the government is spending Rs 15-18 lakh just for that training camp."
Kothari signed off by expressing hope that in the 2022 Asian Games in China, snooker will again be reinstated as it is the premier sport there.
"Snooker is probably the No 1 or No 2 sport there and people turn up in large numbers to watch Ding Junhui play.There is a very good chance that cue sports may get included in that."
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)