CHENNAI: Even as the international body (IBSF) executive meeting decided to cancel all tournaments for this year, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) is looking at the possibility of cueists resuming training from October. The plan is to start training for top cueists of the country at facilities in their respective hometowns.
“Air-conditioners are vital for cue sports. In absence of AC, the table cloth turns damp and balls stop responding due to dampness,” Sunil Bajaj, BSFI’s secretary, told this daily.
With the fresh guidelines issued under Unlock 4 offering some relaxations on use of AC, the federation feels the time is right for cueists to resume training.
“There will be around 100 top cueists in the country competing in various disciplines. What they can do is use facilities in their hometowns to stay in touch with the game. They can do solo practice. We will write to the respective clubs or gymkhanas to allot them a timeframe within which they can practice with an assistant, who will help them in arranging the balls,” added Bajaj.
The office-bearer, however, chose to tread with caution. “The country has been witnessing a sharp increase in Covid cases. We will reassess the situation, say after September 20 and take a final call. Only if the situation improves we will advise our players to resume training.”
The eighth edition of the Indian Open scheduled to be held in September in Odisha had already been cancelled.
With the IBSF too planning to return to international competitions in the second half of 2021, Bajaj feels solo training is the safest option for the country’s cueists.
“We will not rush to release the standard operating procedure (SOP) for our players. Given the situation, they don’t have any competitions this year. Anyways, they can only undergo solo training at the moment. It’s better to wait for now as competitions will take some time to resume in cue sports,” he signed off.