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Top guns for Indian Open snooker

Posted on Aug 21 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Aug 21 : Eight of World's top 10-ranked players will head a field of 64 that will be participating in the second Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament to be held at the Grand Hyatt hotel here Oct 13-17.

Briefing the media here Thursday, Capt P.V.K. Mohan, Billiards and Snooker Federation of India president, said the field for the 300,000 pound (about Rs.3 crore) prize-money event will include six Indian wild card entries that will be picked from a series of qualifying competitions, as was the case last year when the tournament was held in New Delhi.

The draw for this year's event is one of the strongest ever assembled with four-time World champion John Higgins, Chinese legend and winner of the 2013 Indian Open Ding Junhui, Aussie southpaw Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire, Barry Hawkins and Nigel Bond, among others.

The Indian Open is part of World Snooker's global tour of ranking tournaments that are played in England, Europe, China and Australia besides India.

A qualifying tournament for the Indian Open will be held in Barnsley, England from September 19 to 21 to decide the players for the 64-man main draw.

"India hosted a spectacular tournament last year and we are delighted to be part of the efforts being made by the BSFI to popularize the sport in India.

"India has produced several top ranking players in the past and there is no dearth of talent here. Therefore, a ranking event of this magnitude is a great booster for the game for the promising youngsters of the sport," said Chairman of World Snooker Jason Ferguson.

Mohan said: "Last year's tournament made a huge impact and with continued guidance from World Snooker, this (the Indian Open) can emerge as one of circuit's showpiece events."

Multiple World champion in both billiards and snooker Pankaj Advani, who was present on the occasion said: "The best of seven frames in the earlier rounds and best of nine in the final throws the tournament wide open. Anyone can win on his day."

Last year, Advani, who has since relinquished his professional status, made it to the quarter-finals where he lost to compatriot Aditya Mehta who in turn reached the final before losing to Junhui.

NDTV is the broadcast partner for the event and will telecast the matches live on all days, it was announced.

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