Right on cue


Vidya Pillai

Vidya Pillai is a world renowned professional snooker player who initially aspired to be a cinematographer and director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from Loyola College, Chennai.

Initially, reluctant to allow their daughter to take up snooker, her parents weren’t sure if she was serious about her snooker career until they saw her train play and win her state ranking in Tamilnadu.

“He led me to the water. I’m forever grateful to Hemang to have dragged me to a snooker table and tell me ‘Let’s give it a shot’. He is the one who kind of led me to the water,” she reminisces about Hemang Badani, former Indian Cricketer.

Currently playing for Karnataka state in the Nationals, Vidya is a nine-time Women’s National Snooker Champion, who has also finished runner-up in three different editions of the tournament in 2006, 2009 and 2015, and has been a part of the Chennai Strikers team in the Indian Cue Masters League where she is teamed with Pankaj Advani for mixed doubles.

Vidya believes that snooker is still an unrecognized sport in the country when compared to cricket and as a woman, it is an added burden to play any sport in the country as there are a lot more responsibilities and far less support.

She aims to set up a smoother path for the upcoming generation by setting up a snooker academy so that people of the next generation don’t have to go through as much troubles as she did.