(Last Updated on : 01-11-2013)
Billiards has presented a lot of world class players to India. The Indian Billiards players have shown great performances in various international tournaments and have made their own recognition in the world of Billiards. Some of the players went on to become the World Champions in Billiards and some of them have won the championship for more than five times. The Government of India has always honoured the talented sportspersons of the country by bestowing upon them the prestigious Arjuna Award. The Billiards players have also received the award from time to time and hence, the list of Arjuna Awardees in Billiards is quite long.
The first name in the list of Arjuna Awardees in Billiards is of Wilson Jones, who won it in the year 1962. Jones had the distinction of becoming the first ever World Champion for India in any sports. After Jones, the Billiards players could not win the award for 8 long years and in 1970, the award went to another great Indian Billiards player, Michael Ferreira. He won it for showing remarkable performances in the international circuit. Then in 1972, Satish Kumar Mohan won the award for his excellence on Billiards table and he was followed by Shyam Shroff, who won it in 1973.
After another long gap of 5 years, Arvind Savur became successful to enter his name in the list of Arjuna Awardees in Billiards in the year 1978-79. Then in 1983, the award went to Subash Agarwal and Om B. Agrawal followed him to win the Arjuna Award in 1984. The next year of 1985 the legendary Indian Billiards player Geet Sethi winning the Arjuna Award and after him, Yasin Merchant won it in the year 1989.
There was again a long gap of 8 years for the Indian Billiards players to win the Arjuna Award after 1989. In 1997, Ashok Harishankar became one of the Arjuna Awardees in Billiards and the next Awardee came in 2001. Devender Shreekant Joshi won this award in 2001. After him, Alok Kumar successfully won the Arjuna Award in the year 2002 and in 2003; the award was presented to one of the
most talented players in the history of Indian Billiards, Pankaj Advani. Pankaj won the award for becoming the first person to win the World Championship in both the points format and time format of Billiards. The eminent Indian Women Billiards player, Ms. Anuja Prakash Thakur became one of the Arjuna Awardees in Billiards in the year 2005. She is so far the last Billiards player to win the Arjuna Award.
||Anuja Prakash Thakur