They are playing a key role in smooth conduct of the open world ranking tourneyFor the second consecutive edition of the Indian Open, the national snooker and billiards players from the Telugu-speaking States are making their presence felt in the smooth conduct of world ranking tournament at the Novotel Hotel here.
A pool of 12 players, who are all active in the circuit, have been allotted the specific task by Appa Rao of Telangana Cue Sports Association to ensure all the players and officials have the ;feel good factor.
But, why these players?"There is a twin objective behind this concept. One, as players we make sure the spectators get to know how to be inside the tournament hall once the action starts as pin drop silence is required and no distractions of any kind are welcome. So, all those who watch these matches will be wiser the next time," says Himanshu Jain, former India Junior No. 1 in snooker."Secondly, we get this huge opportunity of getting closer to some of the great names of the sport as we are the link between them and the organisers," he says.
In fact, most of these players, some of whom are owed their presence to the ever-helping I.V. Rajiv, who was the first to offer financial assistance to the Nellore-based India No. 2 snooker player E. Pandurangaiah, for he impressed upon them the importance of staying connected to the game and also help their own cause.
"It is real fun. There are no inhibitions and are really enjoying even it means staying at the entrance and regulating the entry into the tournament hall," says national player Dhruv Singh.
For his part, Rajeev feels that the most important aspect is that all of them get this experience free and also to see some of the best games of the world champions being so close to the action. In a way, these players also truly reflect the spirit of the game too as there is a mix of national players from Hyderabad and Vizag (Akhil Reddy and Hari Prasad – both State No. 1 and 2 respectively).
"The best part of the whole endeavour is that we stay in touch with the players even after this championship. We have already lots of friends with some of the big names and hope to be wiser and richer in experience sharing afew thoughts on the game too," says Rajeev echoing the sentiments of his fellow players who include John Paul, the first qualified referee from Telangana State.
On the other hand, Appa Rao says the job may look simple for the outsiders but the kind of knowledge these players get by mingling with the players and coming to know of the different styles of game and technique, they should be much better off in the days to come.