Hyderabadi cueist Himashu Jain becomes fifth Indian to earn Pro-Tour Card | More Sports News

    HYDERABAD: The moment Himashu Jain won the final frame against the formidable Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn of Thailand and earned the Pro-Tour Card for world snooker, tears rolled down his eyes. “I could not believe myself and there were tears in my eyes. It was a dream come true for me,” Himanshu told TOI from Thailand on Monday.
    The 30-year-old Hyderabadi ended a five-year drought for India by beating two Pakistanis on the way to earning a Pro-Tour card. He won the qualification at the Asia-Oceania QSchool Event 2 in Bangkok, late on Saturday. Two players each from the two qualifying events will be rewarded with the Pro-Tour Card. Himanshu could not get through in the first qualifying tournament but made a splendid comeback in the last four stages against Kritsanut to make the grade at the second qualifying tournament. Both tournaments were conducted back-to-back in Thailand.
    “I was down 0-2 and Kritsanut was playing extremely well. I managed to win the third on the pink. In the decider, I was trailing by 42 points and was worried if I would ever get a chance to get back. He then missed an easy ball and I did the rest,” Himanshu said.
    Himanshu is only the fifth Indian after Yasin Merchant, Pankaj Advani, Aditya Mehta and Lucky Vatnani to get a Pro-Tour Card. Himanshu lost in the qualifiers in 2018 but did it now.
    He will now get a direct entry in over 30 professional events in the next two years and need not pay an entry fee. He will be one among the top-128 ranked players in the world and should stay in top-64 in the next two years to hold on to his tour card.
    “I am excited to get this chance. I want to make the best of this opportunity and win a few events on the way,” Himanshu said.
    The first challenge for Himanshu is to get sponsors. “All these years my friend Pasupaleti Siva Krishna of Tripura Constructions supported me financially. I also thank Telangana State Cue Sports Association joint secretary K Appa Rao for his guidance,” Himanshu said.
    He is planning to train at the Dingjunhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield. “I want to train in the UK, many top players train there. Hopefully, I should be getting enough help to pursue my dreams,” Himanshu said.

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