Following lengthy negotiations, World Snooker today announced a new ranking event in India, to be staged from October 14-18.

This will be the first ranking tournament held in India, where snooker was invented by British army officers in 1875.

Legend has it that British officers at the Ooty club in Jubbulpore, taking shelter during the rainy season, conceived the game of snooker by mucking about with existing cue sports.

Neville Chamberlain (no relation to the prime minister of the same name) has been credited with forming the rules. He went on to become a colonel but at the time was only 19.

A ‘snooker’ was in fact an insult used by seniors officers towards their underlings, which makes you wonder what else the game could have been called.

India is a huge market. For many years, billiards has been popular on the subcontinent and there have also been a few invitation snooker tournaments over the years.

The country has two promising professionals in Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta, though they will have to qualify.

There will be six wildcards. In this instance – trying to establish a new tournament in a new market – the use of wildcards can be justified. It follows the precedent of every other new territory.

The first prize is £50,000 and 64 players will take part in the final stages. The pre-qualifying round will be in Doncaster from August 11-12.

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson, who is to air miles what Joe Davis was to world titles, said: “I’ve been in Delhi this week to finalise the agreement for the event and I’ve witnessed first hand the enthusiasm for snooker in India. The people really love our game and I’ve no doubt that this event will be a great success and provide a basis for snooker's growth in India.

Let’s hope enough top players recognise the importance of supporting a new event in a new market, which certainly has the potential to grow in the years to come.

What India has over most of the circuit’s other non-British calling points is a cue sports heritage.

Snooker, after 138 years, is coming home.


PaulG said...

Dave on liveworldsnookertv upcoming fixture list this event and the Qatar Masters have been included for some time now.is a deal also close to being done for the Qatar Masters also ?.

Dave H said...

I believe negotiations are ongoing. The Qatar people were at the World Snooker awards.

PaulG said...

so it's likely that event will happen also.i presume there will be more Asian Tour events next season Dave to compliment the new rankers in Asia ?.

Anonymous said...

I reckon half the top 16 won't go.

Anonymous said...

great news-india is a fantastic place to be and snooker belongs to such places. hopefully all the big names will appear...

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the gin wallah doesn't spill anything over the players jodhpurs.
Tales of the Raj await & also practice facilities are available at the Bengal Lancers Railway club and also the Bombay Bicycle Club.

John Carney said...

So if there are 6 wildcards available and 2 promising Indian pros then why make them qualify? Surely a judicious use of the wildcards would be raising local interest by having these 2 in the main draw?

Anonymous said...

They don't even need wildcards, they could just hold over their matches to the venue now you only need to win one match to qualify. They may well still do that, it would be remarkably shortsighted not to.

Jim said...


If they were to do this Advani and Mehta wouldn't be eligible for ranking points and they are much needed by these two at the moment. I'm sure they would rather roll the dice on qualifying than have a wildcard and receive nothing.

6 Wildcards in this case is a good decision, they will probably all lose anyway but its good to drum up interest

Shame they cannot hold the matches over but this is unfair on the opponent who could travel to india and receive no prize money.

Here's hoping these two qualify.

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan should go

Anonymous said...

Wake me up when local wildcard Dr Banarcheek plays.
He is a fine purveyor of snooker.

Anonymous said...

Shame they cannot hold the matches over but this is unfair on the opponent who could travel to india and receive no prize money.

WSA should foot the travel expenses for Advani, Mehta and their opponents. You are talking less than 10k for all four players. Only morons wouldn't utilise the best two Indian players on the tour in launching a new event in their country.