Bid to revive billiards and snooker in Kandy | Daily News

Bid to revive billiards and snooker in Kandy

Kandy has been neglecting the cue sport,but some of the keen cueists are going all out to organize a tournament for both billiards and snooker, soon after the covid19 endemic is over

The belief is that the cue sport which has been in the doldrums for many years is bound to take a big leap. There are no tournaments unlike in the past when there were inter-club matches between Kandy clubs and Colombo clubs. The tournaments were organized by the controlling body.

In the early days, CYO -Catholic Club which was housed at the St. Sylvester’s College building, Lawn Club ,Public Service Club , Mahanuwara YMBA, Kandy YMMA Kandy Garden Club, Kandy Club, Peradeniya Faculty Club, Kings Cue Club who earned a name through cue sport, took the game very seriously and the tournaments were a great attraction to many cueists.

The most looked forward to event was the Kandy District ‘Lanka Plate’ Billiards and Snooker championships.From Kandy M.J. Marzook Wahid a product of Mahaiyawa went on to represent Sri Lanka at the World Billiards championships in Canada and was the first to represent the country from Kandy. He was from Kings Cue Club. There was another top player form MC Mahaiyawa R. Letchuma who excelled in the sport . The writer became the first national manager of the cue sport from Kandy and continued for nearly fifteen years and also was at one time a key figure with the cue controlling body Later Faise Samad was in the controlling body. At one time Kandy was only second to Colombo in billiards and snooker, and produced national players and officials. Today sad to say the sport is in the doldrums.

Kandy YMMA, one of the founders of the Billiards and Snooker Association has completely forgotten to switch on the table lights.

Kandy Garden Club also promoted the sport but now they play just for recreation. They had two tables,selling one and replacing it with a pool table. Kandy Club’s billiards room has been converted to a restaurant.

Mahanuwara YMBA and Kandy Public Services Club are the only clubs which keep the game alive. Kings Cue Club which earned a name in this sport too has closed their doors while the Peradeniya Faculty Club still plays the game.Today the sport is played only in cue parlours. No one is interested and there is no proper person who can uplift the sport.

Some of the top cueists who played for Kandy were M.J. Marzook Wahid (represented the country), R.Letchuman,D B Ekanayake M. Zahir, Wapap Razak, Faise Samad, Jude Fernando, Manoor Jhan,Mervyn Jayasundara, Jhan Mohamed, Gazally Saheed, S. Chandrakumar, G.B. Yatigamana, P.M.BAmarasekera, Wilbert Gamage, Sarath Gunatillake, A.Cyril de Soysa, A.S.M.Gazally, Tuan Amidon, M. Uzmath, Fayer Jhan and D. Withanagamage to name a few.