Hounslow's Raj ‘The Hitman’ Hundal is coming out of retirement and has set his sights on the World Cup of Pool title, writes Tom Moore.
The 2005 Pool Masters champion had taken a break from the game after becoming a father, but is now keen on his son seeing him lift more titles.
And he will be putting a minimum of four hours work on the tables in order to be in peak condition to take on the best in the world.
He said: “I’m back in action at the World Cup of Pool, in Bethnal Green, in September. I’m really looking forward to it. That’s going to be the return of the Raj.
“I’ll be a bit rusty at the moment. It’s not like tennis where age is an issue as you can mature as a player. I want my son to see me lifting world titles.”
The Hitman admitted he was jaded after spending years on the road living out of a suitcase and the birth of his son provided a new perspective on life.
He added: “I became a father about a year-and-a-half ago. We’re a close-knit family and I didn’t want to be living out of a suitcase and raising my son over Skype. It’s hard enough when you’re married and in a relationship. I was also getting burnt out. I’ve been playing cue sports since I was six so it’s been a lifetime already and I’ve not had time off.
“I needed a break to refresh and come back and being a dad is the best thing in the world.”
As part of a warm-up, he will be looking to face his friends and snooker greats Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White.
He revealed: “Ronnie and I are good friends. There’ll be a game between them. Ronnie and Jimmy White can pack out arenas over the world.
“People in west London come out and support me. I’ve won titles for the UK, but my late grandfather wanted me to represent my motherland, India.
“We’ve got a huge Asian community and I’m lucky to have the support of that. It’ll be entertaining when we play.”
Hundal remains a Hounslow resident and admitted that you can take someone out of Hounslow but you can’t take Hounslow out of them, saying: “I can be in the nicest places in the world, but if I’m there too long, I’ll miss Hounslow.”