Thailand looks set to stage the first proper snooker World Cup for 15 years.

The 1996 World Cup, won in Bangkok by the Scotland 'dream team' of Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Alan McManus, was one of the most popular events ever staged.

But it never returned to the calendar. The Nations Cup, a vastly watered down version, emerged a few years later but the game has been waiting...and waiting...for a new international team event.

Now World Snooker Ltd chairman Barry Hearn is set to unveil a World Cup to be staged in Thailand next season.

It will feature two man teams, selected by the ranking list, and is likely to include singles and doubles matches.

Snooker is an individual sport but most players have experience of playing for teams, whether from their league days or the amateur ranks.

Competition for some countries would be fierce, England being an obvious example.

Ronnie O'Sullivan, the game's biggest draw, would not be a certainty. Hearn told the Daily Mirror: "Playing in a team of two would be something different for Ronnie. We all know how good he is but he also has a role and a responsibility. If he is in the top two from England, he will be in it."

There will be a formal announcement on the new World Cup in due course.

But, like the World Open, it already sounds like another positive step forwards: a different idea, a different format but, crucially, the same game.


Anonymous said...

Will wait for a formal announcement.
Is it going to be held this year or next?

Anonymous said...

Be very interesting if David Gray makes the England team!

kildare cueman said...

Any news regarding new events is good, but I hope this is not a copycat version of the 9-ball pool world team event that Hearn also promotes.

In this event, pairs play scotch doubles against each other, and apart from the fact you'll want to see your own country succeed, holds little or no entertainment value.

Snooker is not 9-ball though, so touch wood, a format more suited to snooker will be found.

The positive from 2 man teams is that anyone could win it. Ding and Wenbo have as much chance as anyone.

Who would have thought that at the last world cup.

COME ON IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ronnie and Selby ; a match made in heaven.............

Anonymous said...

A dream team of Jimmy White and Ronnie is a must to give this event any credibility. Can you imagine Ronnie having to play with Selby and his off putting quips every frame.

Anonymous said...

..or a team with Ronnie and Ebdon!!!
That would be something! :)

Dave H said...

I don't know what the format would be but would suggest five frame matches a little like the tennis Davis Cup:

- Singles
- Singles
- Doubles
- Reverse singles
- Reverse singles

CHRISK5 said...

If the current rankings were a guide it would be Ali C with Ronnie

I think they get on alright.

In previous World Cups/Nations Cups
the selection process use to be quite arbitrary - Top 2 ranked players of each country is crystal
clear & overall,it's a refreshing

Anonymous said...

I'm sure even Ronnie and Ebdon, or Ronnie and Selby doesn't come anywhere near Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor


Anonymous said...

chrisk5- wrong as usual. rankings have been used for all world cups. now go spend the next couple of hours googling for verification, or something equally boring.

Anonymous said...

Does Quentin Hann still (technically) have a ranking?

Not sure about teams being based on rankings as that it may mean a country doesn't field its 2 strongest players - i.e. will Brecel be allowed to represent Belgium, is Thirapongpaiboon really a better pick for Thailand than Un Nooh, also it is not inconcievable Carter and Murphy could both be ahead of ROS when the cut off is made (or will Murphy represent the ROI?). Fascinating though.

Sparky said...

That's great news, however, I'd rather see 3-man-teams!

hegeland said...

Seems like a waste of paper to send an invitation to O'Sullivan if they are staging it in Thailand.

Eurig Jones said...

Interesting! How many countries/teams will be participating here?

The UK countries as well as Ireland, Thailand, Australia, China, Canada... Where else?

NZ? USA? Brazil? ..North Korea?

James Scott said...

Looks like a 'jolly' for the authorities and the 'committee' and all the other hangers-on.

Play the tourney in Bradford or Leeds and cut out the expenses incurred.

Joke of a decision.

Anonymous said...

Are there any decent Aussies around to partner Robertson?

Dave H said...

James - it's part of a deal with Thai snooker, who are unlikely to want to pay for a tournament in Leeds

James Scott said...

Dave...you omitted that fact in the blog post. If Thai snooker are funding it (and/or accommodating the players and officials) then fine, but that wasn't evident.

It still smells of a jolly for the lads, though.

Surely other countries would have matched the Thai monies (Malta/Germany/Ukraine:-)) and saved the players from jetting to Thailand....

Nice place, Thailand, though.

It's a jolly. No denying it. The prize money will be scant.

Dave H said...

I think it might be prudent to wait for the details before running the event into the ground

Anonymous said...

A plucky Irish pairing of Fergal O'Brien and Ken Doherty might take some stopping.
Similar to Ireland doing well in the 1994 Soccer World Cup but England and all their glittering stars disappoint by not qualifying.
The big lad from Brazil Igor could do well but might have to partner Socrates who is lowly ranked.

Anonymous said...

'It's a jolly. No denying it. The prize money will be scant.'

And you speak as someone intimately involved in the administration of snooker do you?

No. Didn't think so.

James Scott said...

I'm not running the event into the ground. It's a pheckin magnificent idea and a welcome introduction to the schedule.

I'm simply questioning the location.

Maybe suits the Chinese...but they're all UK based. Or the Ausies. Nope. They're based here, too. The other nations?

It makes no sense to hold this event in Thailand.


Anonymous said...

Are there really people in the world so stupid that they think the World Cup should be in Bradford instead of Bangkok?

Says everything about the Little Englander mentality that has held this game - and this country - back

James Scott said...

Anon @ 9.55

Post under your actual name so we can converse man-to-man, otherwise, ask Ronnie O'Sullivan if he knows me.

Didn't want to burst your bubble so early, but I just have!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

9:53 - The only difference between that Irish football team and Doherty and O'Brien is that the snooker players are actually Irish.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Chris Hughton a proper blarney stone kissing Irishman?

Anonymous said...

I agree it sounds like a jolly.
The six red non-entity events in Thailand are all well received.
Snooker players would go there for a re-spotted black, open draw, shot clock, miniscule prize money, sudden death tournament for the joys which Thailand bring.

James Scott said...

You want me to spill the beans, Dave?

You're posting to your own blog as two different folk. Sometimes you're yourself...sometimes your Mr Anon.

Frankly...that's sad. In fact: That's really sad.

I know you. You know me...and guess what? I'm not James Scott.

You want to play games....crack-on. I'm all for it!

James....doubt this post will be published!

CHRISK5 said...

They should do a random draw for
Robertson's partner -

Dame Edna Everage
Paul Hogan
Jason Donovan
'Strewth Sheila'
Can of Fosters

Actually,I think the Can of Fosters would do good at Doubles !

Dave H said...

I can assure you I'm not!

Anonymous said...

Two man teams is a good idea because you can get more teams in the World Cup who have a good chance of doing well

Bangkok is the obvious place to hold it because that's where it was last time and it was a huge success, just a shame it's taken so long to get it back on!

Inman said...

James Scott, the idea of turning snooker into a global game is to get away from places like Bradford and Leeds. Thailand is a growth area where people actually watch the game live.
You sound like a wannabe Mark King, your opinion is uninformed, and narrow minded.

Anonymous said...

AW, are you not invited to the world cup James scott.
That makes me very sad. LOL

Anonymous said...

after the rubbish from Steve Davis about shortening the World Championship over the weekend. this is a positive move.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that a proud Welshman might have a say in matters.
Darren Morgan would sing the anthems with great pride.

Anonymous said...

james,this blog is only for people with rosetinted specs of hearn,
o'sullivan and those who have a limited knowledge of snooker,so you and mr encylcopedia chrisk are not welcome.

Betty Logan said...

I think it's a good idea - it sort of combines the old world/nations cup with the world doubles.

It will also be a good promotional event. You will get the best couple of players from each country on the tour presumably, and it can go into territories where they're trying to get pro snooker off the ground. Thailand next season, Malta is a given at some point, maybe Australia, even India a possibility down the line.

Could you just imagine the introduction for Scotland: Please give a big welcome to the world number 1 John Higgins, fresh from a 6 month ban, and world number 5 Stephen Maguire currently under investigation by the CPS.

Anonymous said...

i know a couple of good players in Iran dave or is it pros only. If it is then Robertson wont have a partner.

Mattias Lundberg said...

Hi Dave! I'm too young to remember either the World Cup in 96 nor the Nations Cup. Could you explain in what way the Nations Cup was so much "worse" than the World Cup please?

Sparky said...

My problem with a 2-man-team, is that with 1 good and 1 bad player in the team, (such as in Australia or Hong Kong), the bad player will totally ruin the chance of winning the match, since he participates in 3 out of 5 games. He'll lose his two singles, and ruin every chance of winning the doubles.

Given, of course, that the Davis Cup format will be used.

With 3-men-teams (9 single matches), a team with 1 good and 2 bad players can still beat a team with 2 good and 1 bad player:

The good player wins his 3 matches, and his two teammates both beat the other team's bad player. Scoreline: 5-4!

kimball said...

If the World Cup is done in the same format as 1996, it will be great.
There were seeds and there were qualifiers for continental europe.

It was a huge effort from WSA and
Thai/ Mr.Pulsirivong organisers.

If I am not mistaken, it was Mr.Ferguson who supervised the qualifications in Antwerpen.
A superb event to participate in.

Dave H said...

The Nations Cup was just the five home nations. It did become a World Cup but that was just eight countries.

Anonymous said...

The idea of Higgins and Maguire forming a duo has gotta be more then a little embarrassing for Hearn and co...
Amyway, you could always pair Robertson up with another international player (e.g Fu) and introduce them as the Rest of the World. I like the new format of the World Cup and the idea of playing it in Thailand too, re-introduces top level snooker to the country. How many countries will compete?

Anonymous said...

if ronnie makes it in it, he MAY have a sore back 3 days before the event

Anonymous said...

i am looking forward to going out there and cheering on the welsh team,

cymru am byth

thepiston said...


19 countries, 20 teams

11-15 July round robin, play 5 frames

16-17 qua semi fin. best of 7 (knock out)