Indian Open snooker championship to be held from Jul 5—9

The third edition of the World Ranking Snooker Championship — Indian Open would be held here from July 5 to 9.

Defending champion Michael White(in pic) would be seen playing the qualifiers along with Anthony Hamilton.   -  Vivek Bendre

The third edition of the World Ranking Snooker Championship — Indian Open would be held here from July 5 to 9.

Capt P.V.K. Mohan, president of Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, released the draws for the prestigious championship which will also see six wild card entries for the hosts.

Defending champion Michael White would be seen playing the qualifiers along with Anthony Hamilton. Aditya Mehta would be playing Jimmy Robertson, a release from the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BFSI) said.

Fifteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani will take on first-timer in the world world snooker tour, Fang Xiongman, in the qualifying round.

It will be a tough call for local favourite Lucky Vatnani runs into 31-year-old David Grace, who made it to the semifinal of the UK Championship last year.

Another Indian wild card entrant and two-times national champion, Manan Chandra, also faces an uphill task as he takes on the experienced, 38-year-old Andrew Higginson, the 2011 Players Tour Champion and also a finalist in the 2007 Welsh Open.

All matches up to the finals will be held in the best of 7 format, while the finals would be best of 9. The entire event will be played on four match tables.

Capt. Mohan thanked the Telangana State Government for its complete support and also the sponsors, some of them new, including Bank of Baroda, My Home Group, ONGC, Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd, Kerala Tourism, Hero Motor Corp, NMDC and New India Assurance Ltd.

“In fact, I was delighted to be told by a corporate media house a couple of days ago that billiards and snooker is one of the four disciplines other than kabaddi, badminton and volleyball they are going to promote in a big way,” Capt. Mohan informed.

Promising an exciting championship, it said every session will be kicked off by a celebrity on all the days of the event. The inaugural function will be held on July 4 at 7pm onwards at the venue, the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC).