The inaugural edition of Cue Slam-Indian Cue Masters League was won by Gujarat Kings held from 19th-25th August 2017. Gujarat Kings triumphed 3-0 over Delhi Dons in the final at the Rajpath Club in Ahmedabad.
The Kings team, comprising Andrew Pagett, Daria Sirotina, Alok Kumar, Sourav Kothari and Brijesh Damani with Ashok Shandilya as coach, took the winners cheque of 20 lakh and the trophy. The Kings’ icon player Andrew Pagett better known as ‘Welsh Wizard’ showed his class both in the semifinal and final. In the semifinal, he defeated India’s Pankaj Advani.
In the opening 6-red mixed-doubles rubber, the 35-year-old combined with Sirotina to beat Kelly Fisher and Malkeet Singh 16-13, 50-0.
In the second rubber, the match-up of ‘icons’, Pagett got on a roll, crushing his Dons counterpart Fischer, a 6-red specialist, 24-11, 44-1. Pagett played plenty of safety shots in the first frame which he won 24-11, but crushed Fisher in the second. Trailing 35-1 and needing to play out of her skin to take it into a third frame, the latter fell apart, and the Kings found themselves up 2-0.
Then, in the 9-ball singles, Alok Kumar ran up a 3-0 lead, but Manan Chandra pulled back three — he took the sixth in a break-to-finish. However, Alok returned the favour in the deciding seventh rack, to close it out in style for Gujarat Kings.
This is the first-ever Cue Slam-Indian Cue Masters League held in India. The League featured a shot-clock; players took their shots within 15 seconds, with a 10-minute span for each frame. The fans also encouraged by cheering their players during the games, unlike in traditional cue sports which demands silence.
The League featured five teams: Gujarat Kings, Chennai Strikers, Hyderabad Hustlers, Bengaluru Buddies and Delhi Dons. The players included:
Gujarat Kings: Andrew Pigget (Icon), Daria Sirotina, Alok Kumar, Sourav Kothari, Brijesh Damani. Coach: Ashok Shandilya.
Chennai Strikers: Pankaj Advani (Icon), Vidya Pillai, Dharminder Lilly, Faisal Khan, E. Pandurangaiah. Coach: G. Kishore Khurana.
Hyderabad Hustlers: Amir Sarkhosh (Icon), Amee Kamani, Kamal Chawla, Lucky Vatnani, Anuj Uppal. Coach: Manoj Kothari.
Bengaluru Buddies: Darren Morgan (Icon), Anastasia Nechaeva, Sundeep Gulati, Varun Madan, Laxman Rawat. Coach: Derek Sippy.
Delhi Dons: Kelly Fisher (Icon), Laura Evans, Pushpender Singh, Manan Chandra, Malkeet Singh. Coach: Tanuj Kohli.