Some items of snooker news for this new week…
· Firstly, well done to Ding Junhui for winning the seventh world ranking title of his career with a 10-6 victory over Xiao Guodong at the Shanghai Masters. This was Ding’s first major win on home soil since he captured the 2005 China Open but one suspects it won’t be such a long wait for his next.
· Ding’s success was also good news for Shaun Murphy, who is now confirmed as part of the new Champion of Champions event in Coventry in November. With 14 of the 16 places already filled by tournament winners and only one counting event left – the Indian Open – Murphy will fill one space because he is the next highest ranked player not to have won a title.
· The ITV4 commentary team for the Champion of Champions tournament will be Clive Everton, Neal Foulds and Alan McManus. Jill Douglas will present.
· Some ghastly news in the Mail on Sunday yesterday that the UK house where Thai players including Passakorn Suwannawat and Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon – both under investigation for match fixing – live was subjected to an arson attack in August. Investigations are on-going as to whether this is linked to the allegations.
· The Indian Open will not be broadcast on TV in Europe and indeed the first two days won’t be broadcast anywhere, including in India. This is a welcome new event in a potentially important new market but has been concertinaed into five days with 64 players plus wildcards taking part. The final is just best of nine frames and the tournament concludes on a Friday. TV is snooker’s shop window. Snooker needs to make sure its events remain TV friendly.
· Ronnie O’Sullivan’s follow-up to his 2003 autobiography will be released on October 10. ‘Running’ will cover O’Sullivan’s life since that first book and, as the title suggests, his love of running.
· The second Asian Tour event of the campaign is underway in China. The excellent snooker.org is updating scores throughout.