Success has come at a rapid clip for Delhi cueist Nitesh Madaan. Having first picked up a cue a little more than three years ago,the 21-year-old’s talent has seen him competing in the snooker Nationals in each of these years. During the last Nationals at Gwalior,Madaan clinched the No 2 spot among the juniors and bagged a ticket to represent India in the upcoming Asian U-21 snooker Championships. For this cricketer-turned-cueist,it’s a dream come true.
Madaan’s passion for fast bowling was such that he not only practised in a coaching centre in Dwarka and played local matches,but would also spend extra hours bowling to a friend who represented Air India. His face lights up when he says that he picked up a five-wicket haul in a local match,conceding just 9 runs in four overs.
“That was just amazing. I played cricket for more than three years but my parents always wanted me to study and get good marks. I ensured that I was getting first division. But constant insistence to leave cricket for studies made me lose interest in the game. I was sitting a lot at home now,and started visiting a pool parlour where I happened to meet Sunny Solanki,a Delhi cueist who further motivated me to play professional snooker,” says Madaan,a final year student pursuing a B. Com degree.
Madaan knows that a secure future awaits him if he continues to play as well has he has been doing. “There are so many examples such as Alok Kumar,Rupesh Shah etc who have permanent jobs with public sector undertakings. I thought if I could also do that, my parents won’t have a problem and I would also fulfill my desire of becoming a sportsman,” he says.
The youngster has taken giant leaps in a short period. During his first national event in Chennai in 2011,he won an award for his break of 73 points. At Ludhiana during the pool nationals,where he gave a tough fight to Asian champion Alok Kumar,he won the upcoming player trophy. At Gwalior,when he was on the verge of of becoming the national junior snooker champion,a loss to Malkeet Singh in a round-robin tie meant he finished second.
“I am happy that I am in the top four. We don’t have to play the selection trials to cement our entries (for the Asian juniors). I am just trying to strengthen my basics. ” Madaan says.