Kochi strong contender to host Indian Open snooker

The new Grand Hyatt hotel on Bolgatty Island is likely to be finalised as the venue after a BSFI official appeared satisfied with it.

The 2017 Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament was held in Vishakapatnam. John Higgins (L) was the winner of the 2017 edition.   -  K. R. Deepak

Kochi is a strong contender to host the fifth Indian Open world-ranking snooker tournament in September. The new Grand Hyatt hotel on Bolgatty Island here is the most likely venue.

S. Balasubramanian, the secretary of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, had a look at the Kochi venue on Monday evening and appeared very satisfied.

“Sort of (on confirmation of the venue), we have not finalised the venue and other things but the process is on, so I should be able to confirm it in a couple of weeks,” Balasubramanian told Sportstar on Tuesday evening.

“We have to get the approval from the World snooker federation also and it’s under process. There are a few more venues, there is a possibility of Bengaluru hosting it, and also Chennai but it’s more likely to be in Kochi. The dates are fixed and it will be from September 18 to 22.”

Some of the world’s best players will be in action in the five-day event.

The fourth edition was held in Visakhapatnam and Scotland’s John Higgins, a four-time World champion and the current World No. 5, won the title.

The event, according to Kerala snooker officials, carries a total prize fund of Rs. 3 crore. If Kochi is picked as the venue, it will be Kerala’s biggest-ever snooker tournament.