Disappointed at missing out on Padma Bhushan award for the second year in a row, 16-time world champion cueist Pankaj Advani says he does not know what he needs to do more to receive the coveted civilian honour. Advani, who has bagged eight world titles in the last eight years, was recommended for the third highest civilian award of the country by the Karnataka government as well as the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI).
The Bengaluru-based Advani, one of India's greatest cueists, did not say much after being overlooked for the award yet again, but took to social micro-blogging site Twitter to express his sentiments.
Thank you sir. Just feel after 16 world titles and 2 Asian games golds if I'm ignored for a padma bhushan, don't know what more I need to do https://t.co/kI1pmFL0M9— Pankaj Advani (@PankajAdvani247) January 25, 2017
Advani tweeted in his response to Sports Minister Vijay Goel, who congratulated him for winning a staggering 28th national title in Pune earlier this week.
No sportsperson was chosen for Padma Bhushan this year while eight athletes from various disciplines, including Virat Kohli and Dipa Karmakar, were honoured with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour which Advani received way back in 2009.
Advani has also been awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2006), India's highest sporting honour.
BSFI secretary S Balasubramaniam could not think of any current sportsperson more deserving than Advani for the Padma Bhushan.
"It is very sad to hear that he has been ignored again. It is happening year after year. It is disheartening not only for him but for the entire fraternity. Looks like lobbying is what works (to get these awards). If you go by sheer performance, Pankaj should have got it long ago. Tell me a sportsperson who consistently win world titles like Pankaj. However, we will try again next year," Balasubramaniam told PTI on Thursday.
(With inputs from PTI)