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Canada denies visa to top under-21 cuesist

other Updated: Jul 13, 2011 01:20 IST
Firoz Mirza
Firoz Mirza
Hindustan Times
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Nineteen-year-old Laxman Rawat will not figure in the World Under-21 Snooker Championship at Montreal (Canada) despite being ranked No. 1 in the national camp held in Bangalore in April this year and selected in the national squad.

Reason: The Canadian High Commission did not give Laxman the necessary visa as he had 'insufficient' money in his bank account. Laxman's travel history - this was to be his maiden foreign trip - too played a big role in the cueist being denied the visa.

Laxman, a class-12 student and pursuing studies through correspondence, had attached a Government of India letter with the visa application. The letter clearly stated that all the expenses, including airfare, lodging and boarding, would be borne by the government. Still, Laxman's purpose of visit failed to impress the Canadian High Commission.

The cueist's father, Joga Singh, is a property dealer in Delhi. His mother is a housewife, while his brother, Suraj Rawat, is pursuing a course in hotel management.

"I had increased my bank balance to R 1.50 lakh fearing denial of visa, but that too proved useless," Laxman told HT. "I tried desperately to convince the officials.

Unfortunately, I didn't succeed. Tuesday was my last chance, but I failed," Laxman said.

The championship started on Tuesday and will continue till July 23. Laxman was one of the three players picked for the event. The other two cueists - Varun Madan and Robin D'souza - left the country a few days back.