Pankaj Advani © Getty Images
Pankaj Advani © Getty Images

Pankaj Advani who is an Indian professional player of English billiards and a former professional snooker player has been conferred a honorary membership of the Madras Cricket Club (MCC) at an event in the club yesterday. Advani was in Chennai playing at Madras Cricket Club-Kumbhat 6-red invitation snooker tournament. This tournament was held at the MCC club from August 26 to 30. So before the penultimate day of the tournament the billiards and snooker legend was awarded with the honorary membership. Advani is also the recipient of Arjuna award (2004), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2006) and Padma Shri (2009). Advani also holds a distinct record for taking a hat-trick of hat-tricks in English billiards, holding the World, Asian, and Indian National Championship titles simultaneously, in three different years: 2012, 2008 and 2008. READ: IPL style league needed for snooker or billiards in India, says Pankaj Advani

MCC President Ajit Kambhat was quoteb by Hindu saying, “It is our club that is honoured to have Pankaj Advani as a honorary member.” MCC had previously also conferred its honorary membership to Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, M.S. Dhoni, Viswanathan Anand, Leander Paes and Vijay Amritraj. Advani played alongside Manan Chandra, Rafath Habib, Sourav Kothari, Alok Kumar, Kamal Chawla, Dharmendar Lily, Brijesh Damani in the tournament which lasted five days. The preliminary rounds were played in seven frames which constituted of four groups consisting of six players each. The quarterfinals and semifinals were played in nine frames and the final in 11 frames.