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Borders not a deterrent for Russell, Gilchrist

other Updated: Nov 14, 2010 22:48 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times
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Peter Gilchrist belongs to a new breed of cueists, who are not willing to be restricted by geographical boundaries. The former world billiards champion decided to shift base to Singapore from England, his place of birth, and the tall 42-year-old doesn't regret the move.

Gilchrist is like his more illustrious 41-year-old country-mate, Mike Russell --- hailing from Middlesbrough --- who too ventured out in search of greener pastures after 10 World Championship titles, and would be representing Qatar at the Games.

So, what's the reason behind two of the world's top cueists leaving their home for an unknown place, after donning their country's colours for decades?

"There is so much more baize sport in Singapore. I went there as a coach, but they asked me if I could play for them. I agreed. So, here I am winning a medal for Singapore," said Gilchrist. The 2001 world champion in clinched a bronze on Sunday, adding to the one he won four years at Doha (Qatar).

Gilchrist is a competitor-cum-mentor, bringing up 10 youngsters to be Singapore's future hope.

"Singapore has more competitions and I find it's a better place than England," says Gilchrist.

"Even Russell decided to move to Qatar. I believe, though he has not yet become a Qatari national, he will soon," says Gilchrist.

On Pankaj Advani's superb performance at the Games, Gilchrist says, "I have great respect for Indian cueists.

India produced legendary players like Wilson Jones, Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi and Pankaj Advani took that tradition forward. I always thought Geet was the best, but now Advani has made me change my view. No doubt, Advani is a better player."

Well, we all knew Advani was the best.