Pune, Maharashtra [India]: In an unexpected series of events, The Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) was denied participation in the National games last year in Ahmedabad due to the internal conflicts of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
As President of BSFI, Rajan Khinvasara, along with Sunil Bajaj, General Secretary of BSFI, powered through his dedication and strong will to pursue the matter in the Supreme Court against the IOA and the efforts didn’t go in vain, IOA has authorized the participation of the BSFI in the forthcoming National games in Goa, which is one of the most significant contributions to the sport of billiards and snooker. However, court orders are eagerly awaited.
India has a rich history with this sport that was invented in India way back in 1875 and a promising future in Cue sports, a sport that has brought our country around 60 gold medals in international competitions. One of the shining stars of this sport is Padmashri Pankaj Advani, who has won almost half of these medals with his exceptional skills and talent. He is not alone in his achievements, as he follows the footsteps of legends like Sir. Wilson Jones, Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi, Yasin Merchant, Devendra Joshi, Ashok Shandilya, Manoj Kothari, Agarwal brothers and others who have paved the way for Indian cue sports. The next generation of cueists such as Sourav Kothari, Aditya Mehta, Ishpreet Chadha, Shrikrishna, Brijesh Damani, Kamal Chawla and Himanshu Jain with their passion and prowess have made the nation proud with their victories and worth a mention are the juniors, namely, Ranveer Singh, Digvijay Kadian, Kreish Gurbaxani, Sumer Mago and the Razmi brothers. Women have equally excelled in this game; cueists like Chitra M, Vidya Pillai, Arantxa Sanchis, Amee Kamani, Anuja Chandra-Thakur, Anupama Ramachandran, Keerthana Pandian, Varsha Sanjeev to name a few have already carved a niche for themselves and garnered laurels for our country. Today India can boast of yet another sport on the international platform.
Rajan Khinvasara, the President of Billiards & Snooker Association of Maharashtra (BSAM) and Ex-President of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) is a man, who has dedicated his life to promoting and nurturing the game of Cue sport with his vision and commitment. He has held various positions in the sport’s governing bodies since 2008 and has been instrumental in hosting numerous tournaments at local, State, National, Asian and World levels. He has also been the title sponsor of 13 National Championships, 2 Asian championships and 6 World Championships between 2006 and 2020.
He is not only an accomplished snooker player himself, but also a generous sponsor, a dynamic organizer and a visionary administrator.
INDIAN OPEN was a brainchild of Khinvasara; a thought he perceived while at Sheffield, England in May 2011 to get both amateur and professional bodies together.
It was a major advancement in the Snooker and Billiards world, when the then President of BSFI, Capt. P.V.K. Mohan and Rajan, in 2013 inaugurated the Indian Open World Ranking Professional Championships in India. Indian Open got best of the players and world champions together thus globalizing the game of cue sports. Whopping prize money and covered extensively by the media worldwide, Indian Open was instrumental in taking the game to the masses all over the globe.
Rajan was one of the sponsors for five consecutive Indian Opens from 2013 to 2017 and 2019. The millions of rupees he infused were a factor that globalized the cue sport and recognized India as a major contributor in accelerating the cue sports viewership to the peak. He continues to work tirelessly to promote and develop this sport at various levels, from grassroots to International.
Rajan says, “I have always believed in the potential of this sport and the talent of our players. We at BSFI have tried to create more opportunities and exposure for them by organizing tournaments at different levels and providing them with training and guidance. I also want to make this sport more popular and accessible to the masses by increasing its viewership and sponsorship. I hope that one day this sport will be included in the school and college curriculum as well as in the Olympics.” He further proudly announces the formation of a SACSA Committee (South Asian Cue Sports Association) comprising of all the SAARC Countries at Dhaka Club Ltd; Dhaka, Bangladesh on 30th November 2022; The SACSA will have India as an official registered address.
Rajan further adds, although that these are the exciting times for cue sport, there is still a long way to go. We want more young cueists excel and make India a dominant force in the world of Billiards & Snooker. “It’s high time this sport gets its due respect,” he asserts.
An inspiration and a role model for many, Rajan deserves to be honored and celebrated by the country. A long-overlooked sport is finding its way on the national mantle because of his unwavering passion and faith. Being awarded and recognized on several prestigious platforms for his selfless contribution to the game; what next. We strongly recommend nothing but the much coveted Padmashri Honour for our very own Rajan Khinvasara.