No one noticed my win | india | Hindustan Times
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No one noticed my win

india Updated: Apr 19, 2010 00:58 IST
Neha Sharma

He created history last week by becoming the first player ever to get a hat-trick in winning the Asian Billiards championship. But Pankaj Advani is still waiting for the congratulations to come his way, as everyone seems to be busy with the ‘IPL Tamasha’. “I almost feel losing would have got me more attention,” says the dejected 24-year-old world champion. He adds, “IPL is not a sport. It is mere entertainment and business, but overshadows everything. People are only interested in masala and gossip. To get noticed, you have to be in the news for the wrong reasons. I can’t do that, and so my win is taken for granted.”

He adds that it is high time the perception of the country changed towards other sports. “We — Saina Nehwal, Abhinav Bindra, Vijender Singh— work as hard as cricketers. If the country has Olympic medals, it is because of individual performances. The private sector also needs to support us, but nothing happens. Maybe other sports federations need to learn from BCCI on how to market their sport.”

Other sports stars echo Advani’s views. Olympian boxer Vijender Singh says, “Cricketers get media attention, fame and money and we get nothing. They won the World Cup in 1983. Maybe I’ll also get attention for my medal 15 years later.”

Former Indian hockey Captain Viren Rasquinha says, “I don’t want to crib, but it’s a serious issue that cricketers get importance and we don’t, so I have decided to quit my sport.”