Bangalore: The Toyota University Cricket Championship has not only given University students to showcase their cricketing talents, but has given a plethora of international sportspersons to thank their alma mater for the support their Universities have given them during their playing days.
On Tuesday, it was the chance for world snooker and billiards champion, Pankaj Advani. The affable 27-year-old turned up at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru to watch his college - Jain University - play their TUCC match against Jiwaji University, Gwalior.
Advani has a B.Com degree from Mahaveer Jain University and the winner of eight world billiards and snooker titles revealed he barely attended college. "In my three years at college my attendance was 7, 0 and 13 per cent. But my poor attendance never interfered with my academics because the University understood that I needed time to train and play tournaments," Advani said.
Jain has produced a number of international sportsmen. Advani, tennis star Rohan Bopanna and cricket star Robin Uthappa are just some of them. "The Jains have played a big role in our lives. The support they give you is massive. Just a month and half of crash course would all I would need to appear for an exam," said Advani.
"The University would never disturb you when you are training or playing a tournament. This understanding is very necessary for a sportsperson," Advani said, adding Tuesday night brought back happy memories of his college days.
"I have come to the Chinnaswamy before for an IPL match. But this is a different atmosphere. I have been part of the Jain group and I can't undermine their support. Being here to support my college feels just great," Advani said.
"Just do it, boys," was the world champion's message to the Jain University team, the current all-India Rohinton Baria champions and one of the TUCC favourites.