Top cueists from different countries, including hosts India, will be seen in action in the 13th Asian Billiards and 15th Under-21 Snooker Championships to be held in Chandigarh from April 4 to 10. It will be followed by another cue sports event, the inaugural Asian Grand Prix, from April 9 to 14 that has already seen keen interest from the top players around the globe.
The events are being held by Punjab Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) under the aegis of Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) and World Billiards Limited (WBL). All the tournaments will be held at the UT Guest House in Sector 6.
“ONGC has already agreed to sponsor the event and we (PBSA) are leaving no stone unturned to make this event a success,” PBSA general secretary and Guangzhou Asian Games bronze medalist, Alok Kumar, said.
Eight Indians — Sourav Kothari , Alok Kumar, BB haskar, Dhruv Sitwala , Rupesh Shah, Brijesh Damani, Malkeet Singh and Jaiveer Dhingra — have been confirmed for the Asian Billiards.
“Players from around 15 Asian countries will be participating in the event. The Asian Grand Prix billiards event will see world champions like Peter Gilchrist, Mike Russel, Geet Sethi, Pankaj Advani and David Causier in action. Gilchrist has already confirmed his participation. Other top billiards players from Europe, Australia, New Zealand will also join the top Asian players,” added Kumar, who is also a Arjuna Award recipient.
Peter Gilchrist recently registered his career's second 1000+ break. This will be for the first time that the World Billiards Ranking Tournament is being held in Asia.
“We will be able to grab the attention of youngsters and budding players who will be able to see quality players in action. Financially, we are well placed to host this event but at the same time we are looking out for more sponsors,” Kumar added.
Eight Indians for the Asian Under-21 Snooker are Ashutosh Padhy, Dhvaj Haria, Sahil Nayyar, Ishpreet Chadha, Hritik Jain, Kunal Kothekar, Vikrant Kapoor and Nikhil Saigal.
“We have two Punjab players — Sahil Nayyar and Vikrant Kapoor — in the Asian Under21 snooker, while I am the only one from Punjab in billards, “Kumar said.
In the Asian U-21 Snooker Championship and Asian Billiards, the first round, round robin and the last-16 round will be of best-of-seven frames, while the quarterfinals and semifinals will of best-ofnine frames. The final will of best-of-11-frames.
The championship will be played on international standard tables, specially imported for the event,” Kumar added. The event carries total prize money of R 15 lakh.