Wilson Jones First Indian World Champion

The Indian Express, Bombay, Friday, December 12, 1958

CALCUTTA, December 11.


WILSON JONES, of Bombay, became the new World Amateur Billiards champion when he beat Chandra Hirjee (India) in the eight-hour tie in the championship here tonight by 4,655 points to 2,887.


Hirjee never found his real form except in the closing session when he made four three figures breaks over hundred against Joness three. Jones enjoying an overnight lead of 895 was never in danger of losing the advantage as Hirjee failed to touch his form.


Hirjee missed many chances inclining to play at the top table while Jones mixed up the game cleverly. By the end of the first session today Jones built up a lead of 1.556 points with breaks of 74, 70, 103, 107, 69, 21, 111, 206 and 162 while Hirjee could make only162 (162) 56 and 111 as his best. But continuing his hand from 117 in play, Hirjee ended his first visit in the second session at 143. Jones made a late reply with 81 and 113 taking the lead to 1,580.


A close contest was witnessed in the last hour from four-tenth visit. Hirjee made 126 but Jones replied with 185 in the same visit. Hirjee complied 115 in his next ad made 182 in eighteenth. Unmoved, Jones went for his highest break today with an intention of breaking the existing record but trying to cross the baulk line he stopped at 371 which earned him the highest lead in the match of 1,856 points.


Leslie Driffield and Tom Cleary who play tomorrow congratulated the new champion on the spot while Mr. Claude Harris, President of the Australian Control Council declared him the new champion.




Jones:  first session 74, 70, 103, 107, 69, 211, 111, 206 162; second session 81, 113, 84, 185, 371.


Chandra Hirjee: first session 162, 56, 111: second session 143, 126, 115, 182, 81. PTI.





Thus the long reign of supremacy in world billiards of foreign players comes to an end and history is written in flaming letters of the crowning achievement of Indias proud son, Wilson Jones, star player of Bombays Vissanji Sports Club.


His meteoric rise to the top comes not only because of his natural aptitude for the game which he evinced in 1939 when Kingsley Kennerley first visited Bombay but through arduous application to the finer points of the art that is billiards.


At a reception held in Bombay at the Byculla-Procter Branch of the Y.M.C.A.  Leslie Driffield, the 1952 World amateur billiards champion, stated that the time would very soon be when Wilson Jones would don the mantle of world amateur billiards champion, for in his estimation, he had the attributes of a very gifted player, particularly brilliant of which his skill and polished execution of the top-of-the table sequences. That prophecy has come true.


Outstanding among his achievements in the World Series was Joness record Indian break of 501 made against the Australian and defending champion Tom Cleary, who had won the title in 1954. Surpassing that feat was his prolific scoring in the fourth session of his match with Leslie Driffield in which he scored 1076 points to Driffields 417.


The difference in the rate of scoring displayed the extent of his domination over Driffield whom he had beaten previously in the Western India Billiards Championship at Bombay by 2,747 points to 2,739 at the end of four hours.


This was Joness fourth attempt at the world title. His first was in 1951, when the world championship took place in England. He participated without success in 1952 when the championship was staged at Calcutta and again in 1954 when it was held at Sydney, Australia.