The much trailed World Cup has been confirmed for Thailand from July 11-17.

It will feature 20 two-man teams. The players for each team will be selected according to their ranking position.

For example, if the current ranking list were used this would mean John Higgins and Stephen Maguire for Scotland, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy for England and Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens for Wales. Thailand, as host nation, will have two teams.

The event will be sponsored by PTT, the state-owned energy company, and EGAT, the electricity generating Authority of Thailand. It takes place at the World Trade Centre in Bangkok.

Barry Hearn travelled to Thailand last week to finalise details, the latest in a long line of innovations his stewardship of World Snooker has brought about in the last year.

And it gets better. World Snooker says it is in advanced discussions for a new ranking tournament outside the UK in late July. I understand this could turn out to be in Australia.

That would be a huge step forward. An Australian Open was announced way back in 1989, the only snag being that it ended up being played in Hong Kong.

Hearn clearly believes that snooker’s future rests on its global potential, which has never been properly realised.

So many countries – Canada, Dubai, Belgium, Holland and Thailand to name a few – have been visited and then dumped by previous administrations.

We saw huge crowds in Berlin for the German Masters and the last two days of the PTC Grand Finals in Dublin proved snooker is still popular in Ireland.

At this rate there will be at least ten ranking tournaments next season, plus various invitation events, including the new Brazilian Masters, and the World Cup, a picture so rosy as to have been unimaginable just two years ago.

Not content with all this, Hearn has turned his attention to Killing Cancer, a charity the governing body will support by helping to raise £250,000 over the next three years.

Surely all Barry will soon have left to tackle will be world peace...


Sparky said...

All great news - if it weren't for the TWO-man-teams.

I want THREE-man-teams, maybe it'll happen next year if this year's tournament is a success in Thailand?

Betty Logan said...

I've never bought the argument that snooker wouldn't sell in Australia because of the weather — it hardly had an Arctic climate when Walter Lindrum was ruling billiards.

Matt said...

What channel will the World Cup be on?

Anonymous said...

I'd like Barry to sort out the banks!

jamie brannon said...

I hope Wattana gets included.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please interview Rodney Walker and hear what he has to say about Barry Hearn?

What has happened after he left is nothing short of a fairytale. "..and they re-racked happily ever after"

Anonymous said...

How come no three man teams?


Snooker Oracle said...

Snooker has a lot to thank Hearn for. It still riles me how some boneheads thought they would be better under the old regime. Astonishing really.

Keep up the good work Barry. Oh and sort out streaming for the qualifiers - the one thing you have not turned to gold yet...I have faith.

Dave H said...

I think the problem with three man teams is that they want as many teams in the World Cup as possible and most countries don't have the strength in depth.

Look at Australia - they currently have the world champion and no other players on the circuit.

Betty Logan said...

As someone pointed on this blog a few months ago, three-man teams is a better leveller than two man teams.

If you have doubles then you need two good players; however with three man teams you can win games with two bad players i.e. if a team with one good player wins all his matches against a team with two good players, and the team with two bad players both beat the bad player on the team with two good players and a bad player, then they can win five frames and the match. By similar logic, a team with one bad player can beat a team with three good players, provided the two good players win their matches. Depending on how the draw pans out, a team with one good player and two bad players can win the event if they beat teams that only have two good players which in turn have beaten the teams with three good players.

That can't happen with two man teams, because there is no way a two man team with a weak player can beat a team with two good players, because they will get sunk in the doubles game which could be the decider.

Anonymous said...


they might not have strength in depth however having 3 men teams gives it a better feel and if the captain doesn't play a player against a certain team then thats all good but theres a real team there.

theres plenty Australian amataurs that would gain from keeping company with the World Champion.

Anonymous said...

They might have to ressurect Hann

Anonymous said...

for the fanboys claiming for 3 man teams: even if it was 3 man teams ronnie would have NO CHANCE of being there.

best ranked english players are Selby, Murphy and Carter.

Anonymous said...

Ronnie in the England "B" team (if there were one) would be a bit of a slap in the face for him.

Anonymous said...

Antipodean team then...is Dean O'Kane still playing?

jamie brannon said...

The teams will be slected after the rankings undergo another revision, but can't see O'Sullivan turning up with Murphy and Selby, even if the event was held in Chigwell!!

The event is being modelled on the Davis Cup and the recent PDC darts World Cup, which from all accounts was a success.

Hann is not dead but banned!!

Still can't fathom who the eight seeded teams will be.

I would imagine it will be - England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, China, Australia and Thailand.

TazMania said...

Two man teams is a good idea think about a team like brazil will have igor figuerado and thats it. It will be hard 4 teams like brazil to find two other players that will be comempetive

Would like to see more asian countries involed like india, pakistan and iran possibly

Anonymous said...

Not keen on doubles being included. It sounds like a good idea in theory, but in reality it tends to be a fairly dull format, and can drag on forever. Even at the peak of the game's popularity on British television, once the novelty had worn off the audiences dipped to a level where ITV dropped it. And when they included it in the Nations Cup, if my memory serves me right it got dropped from that as well. It just isn't appealing to watch.

Anonymous said...

iran definitely have 2 strong players in hussain verfai and ehsan heydary . they should be included.

Anonymous said...

8th seeded team could be Hong Kong or Thailand B

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Murphy's "I feel one of the people here" statements in Ireland last week mean he will be in the ireland team in order to make space for Ronnie in the England team?

The broader point is that unless the 'selection' criteria is broad (i.e. like the Canada team in the Cricket World cup) a 20 team tournament will mean mismatches worse than the wildcard round of the Bahrain Championship.

Would be interesting to see Dong Dong alongside Marco Fu as the HK team.

Betty Logan said...

best ranked english players are Selby, Murphy and Carter.

The world champion takes precedence over rankings in seeding events, so if Ronnie were to win the WC he would get first refusal; I don't see him heading out to Thailand in any case though, so it's all pretty moot.

Anonymous said...

I think O'Sullivan would rather be part of a Rest of the World team than in an England team with Selby or Murphy- that is if he's even planning to go to Thailand in July.


Tone said...

The inclusion of a Thailand B team is a poor decision in my opinion. This ploy was adopted for the World Cup in the mid-80s and, in my opinion, devalued the event as a bona fide world team championship. I can imagine it was a concession that Barry Hearn agreed to when striking the deal but hopefully this won't be repeated if it becomes a regular event on the tour.
An idea in future may be to hold it in conjunction with the IBSF World Amateur Championship. A joint IBSF/WSA venture could be beneficial to both organisations.

kimball said...

World Cup is a wonderful tournament
and let us hope the set up will be
as 1996, when J.Ferguson, if I remember correctly, were in charge of
the european qualifications.

WSA did a very good job that time with very generous pricemoney,
paid expenses four teams going to
the qualifications in Antwerpen.

It was round robin, oneframematches
four countries in each group and
three men teams.
It was a fantastic bonding experience for players from small countries and hopefully will it not
be a "one off" this time.
Sweden nearly made it but lost out
to Iceland in a thrilling group final:-(