Imran Majid Player Interview
AzB Staff and Supr Charged Agency
Mar. 24, 2020
Imran Majid with a couple fans
Imran Majid with a couple fans
With the lack of events to report on at the moment, we are teaming with the Supr Charged Agency to feature interviews with various European and American players. Hopefully this will give all of the readers a chance to get to know these players better. 
 
This time, we have The Maharaja, Imran Majid.
 
Name (and nickname): Imran Majid (The Maharaja)
The Maharaja means Indian king. A lot of people say I am the best Indian player in the world!!
Age: 47
City: London, UK
 
When did you get your start playing pool?
I started playing snooker first at the age of 13. I have five 147 breaks and I have beaten Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams in tournament play.
 
Who was your inspiration/idol when you were young?
Stephen Hendry was my idol when I was young.
 
Why Stephen Hendry?
Hendry took the game to the next level and invented 'one visit' snooker. He used to kill off a frame in one visit more regularly than anyone else! He also had a great temperament and his technique was outstanding!
 
Who do you admire amongst today's players?
I admire Alex Pagulayan because he is an all rounder, very good at all games.
 
Who is the next big thing in pool today?
In pool today, I think the next big thing is Joshua Filler. Well, he is already big.
 
What are your greatest accomplishments?
My greatest accomplishments are firstly making the Mosconi cup team,  and then winning the World Team Championships and then winning a couple of Eurotour stops.
 
How big was it to get picked for the Mosconi Cup team?
It was massive for me to be selected for the Mosconi cup. I was ranked number 2 in Europe at the time. That's why I was selected. It's the biggest stage in the world of pool so I was over the moon to be selected.
 
Tell us about the experience of playing it.
The experience was to be honest quite unexplainable. I was playing for my continent and also my self dignity and pride. I wanted to test myself on the big stage and I passed the test with flying colours. I was under pressure a lot and was shaking but I handled the pressure very well. I beat Johnny Archer 7-2 in my singles and beat Earl Strickland and Rodney Morris in the doubles with my partner Nik Van den Berg. Strickland and Morris were undefeated in 6 Mosconi doubles matches previous to this, so it was extra sweet! 
 
How often did you practice at an early age and how often now?
When I was younger I used  to practice nearly everyday for 5 to 6 hours. These days I don't practice as much because I simply don't have the same energy as before. I practice maybe 4 times a week these days but I do a lot of coaching which keeps me in touch with the game. My memory gets refreshed a lot when I'm teaching so it's a good thing!
 
Do you use drills when you practice?
I don't do too many drills. I prefer playing people or playing the ghost. I have beaten all the ghosts from 9-ball up to 15-ball. It took me 7 months to beat the 15-ball ghost so I was very happy to beat it. I play snooker once a week as well, which keeps me in good stroke! Before a big tournament though, I will do some standard drills and practice the break a lot.
 
What should newcomers practice most?
Newcomers need to play a lot more big tournaments...throw themselves in the deep end. That's how they will improve and gain experience quickly. 
 
 What are newcomers doing wrong?
Some very good players lose matches because their break is weak!
 
What should advanced players practice most?
Advanced players should practice the break shot more as it is the most important shot in the game! 
 
What is the strongest part of your game?
I don’t really have too many strengths or weaknesses. I am pretty good all round.
 
What is the weakest part of your game?
Maybe I could improve my kicking skills a little.
 
Is fitness important for pool players?
Yes, I think fitness is very important in all sports. I have been to the latter end of many big tournaments, for example the US Open and World Championships, but I think my fitness level hurt me because I seemed to lose energy! I think it's unfortunate for my pool career that my wife is a great cook and makes an awesome chicken curry...lol!
 
What is your favorite game?
My favourite game is 10-ball and I also love one pocket but it's unfortunate not too many people play it in Europe. 
 
What are the 3 most important factors in a players game?
I believe that the 3 most important factors in pool are:
 
Self control first. Self control is 10 times more important than cue ball control!
 
Discipline - If you are playing pool at a high level you should treat it as a profession and do the right things on and off the table!
 
Self belief- You won't get anywhere if you don’t believe in yourself!
 
 Who has the best stroke in pool today?
I think Joshua Filler has the best stroke in pool today. He can generate a lot of power effortlessly. He is a total natural talent and I believe he will dominate for many years to come!
 
How is your mental strength?
My mental fitness is quite good. Darren Appleton once told me I have very good composure, maybe one of the best in the world! I do work a lot on my mental game and also teach it a lot. I'm not scared to play anyone and don't get phased in pressure situations!
 
Do you have any advice/tricks for players?
Advice/tricks I can give is to follow your dreams and goals ... don’t let anything get in the way!
Before a big match or tournament dont think about pool. Do something different like listen to music, watch a film or simply hang out with friends. Save your mental energy for the pool match ahead!
 
How important is the equipment?
I don't think equipment is that important. A good player can play with anything to a certain extent. For example, I saw Joshua filler win the China Open with a carbon fibre shaft, then after the tournament literally threw it in the bin. He then changed back to wood and won a couple of more major events!
 
Do you use TAOM because they are a sponsor, or because you like their products?
I use Taom products because they are extremely good. I especially like the new Fusion tips and the pyro chalk is a good combination with it.
 
What in your opinion is required to be a good ambassador/sponsored player?
A good ambassador for any company should promote the brand to their full potential. Advertising logos for any brand is massive so a sponsored player should always make sure the logos are intact when playing. Feedback about equipment is very important to any company, so keep them up to date with feedback...but truthful feedback. If you don’t like a product for some reason, you should tell the sponsors and maybe they can engineer the product to improve it.
 
What should the billiard industry do to get more recognition outside the industry? 
I think the billiard industry should raise the profile of the game to attract external sponsors. Things like players wearing waistcoats and bow ties...also WWF style introductions to matches can all make pool more appealing to companies outside the industry. Maybe have a speed gun on the break as well, it all adds to great viewing for audiences!
 
Thoughts on Matchroom and their efforts to make pool great?
Matchroom are a blessing for the pool industry. They have put some second tier sports such as darts and poker on the map! They are the best sports promotion company in the business and we should work with them to make pool great! They are increasing prize money so it can only help players and the industry.
 
 
You do a lot of commentary, do you enjoy it?
Yes I do a lot of commentary, mainly for the Eurotour and some World Championships.
I enjoy it a lot and people give me good reviews about my commentary because I have the technical knowledge and can spice it up as well!
It also helps me to read the tv table to see how it is breaking, etc.
I can also promote my sponsors while commentating which goes out to a massive audience reach. That is good for my sponsors!
Recently, I have taken on a new commentating venture which is in the Oslo billiard centre in Norway. I commentate on the one and only Bragging Rights Challenge...lol!!
So yes, it’s a lot of fun and I enjoy it...I may be working with Kozoom in the near future.
 
 
Tell us about your 2019 goals and results
My 2019 season wasn't that great...had some personal problems. My only real notable result was 9th place at the US Open where I beat some great players en route. 
My goal is to win a major event, which I am still trying for. Perseverance is the key and I will continue to pursue my goals,  and I will succeed!!!
 
Was getting picked for 2019 Mosconi Cup a goal?
Yes, being selected for the Mosconi Cup was one of my goals! Not just a goal, but the ultimate goal!
 
Your thoughts on the outcome of Mosconi Cup 2019?
I feel that Team EUROPE missed a trick in 2019 with their team selection, especially for the doubles. There was a loophole with the fans choice and Johan spotted it and took full advantage. I think Alex Lely will do a great job now for team Europe and I predict they will win this time in 2020
 
You play lots of events in Europe these days.
What's the main differences between events in Europe and the US?
I feel that events in Europe have more strength in depth. For example, there are probably about 75/100 players that could win a Eurotour event, but a similar tournament in the USA could only have 10 possible winners. Players in Europe are willing to travel abroad a lot more to play tournaments so they will gain experience quicker...i think this is the underlying factor!
 
Goals for 2020
My goal for this year will remain the same to try and win a major, but with the current virus situation it looks like a lot of events will be postponed!
This is a bit heart breaking, because I have put in a lot of practice recently!
 
Who will win these majors this year? 
 
- World Cup of Pool
I think Austria will win the Cup again...they are built for this particular tournament!
 
- US Open
I will win the US Open this year!....gotta be positive right?
 
- 9-ball WC
The WC is open to maybe 100 players to win. If I had to guess, maybe it's Svb's time!