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Pankaj Advani becomes world champion again and goes unnoticed in media
In a cricket-crazy nation like India, we generally see other sports and its players not getting credit even when it is due. Pankaj Advani's seventh world Billiards title is a perfect example of media's lack of adequate coverage, as only very few media houses have given some time and space to this great champion.

DO THIS exercise - ask the nearest person you can find who is Pankaj Advani? In all probability, the person would draw a long face and not be able to answer the question, but ask about any Indian cricketer, he/she would instantly recognise the player and give a full portfolio. They might even tell you how many siblings they have along with the number of cars, just to rub salt into the wounds of other sportspersons, who are still left unnoticed after clinching world titles. But, blame not the person whom you have questioned, but the media, who only highlights a certain number of sports and its players. Cricketers top the chart and other sports are lost in the background, where they just become a mere shadow of themselves.

For those who still have not been able to figure out who Pankaj Advani is - he is an Indian billiards and snooker player, who is the best in the business. There has been no better player in India as far as snooker and billiards are concerned, though it is a debatable topic with Geet Sethi also having earned a name for himself in the sport at the international level as well as Michael Ferreira. Advani has won an impressive seven world billiards titles, including the latest one in England.

Apart from this, the 24-year-old champion has been acknowledged by the Government of India for his contribution to the game, as he has been awarded Arjuna Award, Rajiv Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri in the past. One wonders, how many national newspapers did a comprehensive story about the awardee all the while Advani was winning titles for himself and the country - the quantity matters as well as the quality.

No major sporting action was taking place on Sunday where major Indian sportspersons were involved, so there was a good opportunity to cover Pankaj Advani as he was playing in the finals of the World billiards title in England, but it was not to be. There were few news channels, newspapers, who found some little time to showcase the player only after the player registered his seventh world title, where he defeated Mike Russell with the final score reading 1,895-1,216.

The Indian media finds a cricket match played in a dust bowl pitch with zero percent crowd attendance more interesting than a person representing the tri colour in other sports. No newspaper had carried a preview of the billiards tournament as well.

And after all this, we expect our Indian Olympic team to bring a number of medals, whenever it is held. Is this fair? If these sportspersons are treated in such a manner, where would all the encouragement come from? Such sportspersons need to be pushed and they are sure to deliver. It is at this juncture that the media plays an important role. But, in a country like India, where cricket rules the roost, we may be asking too much from the media. Only if other sports within the nation are given importance that the sporting scenario in India is going to change.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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