Bengaluru, December 2: The sporting culture is growing in the country and over the last few years India has slowly emerged as the cue sports hub. With a medal haul of 22 international medals in 2017, it has developed as a powerhouse for cue sports.
To help the growth of the sport, in Asia mainly, the International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) along with the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sport (ACBS) will be conducting four new events in the upcoming year.
The inaugural edition of the Asian Snooker Tour will have three host countries, which include, India, Qatar and China. The tournament will see a new version of the game, which will see a 10-Reds version of snooker being played by twenty-four players. The entries will be six from the host country, two each for the other hosts. The other participants will be from two players from the Asian Snooker, Asian Six Red, IBSF Snooker & IBSF Six Red and two each from the other regions, including Africa, Oceania and Europe.
The details of the other three are yet to be determined, but the events will include a team snooker championship, a ladies snooker championship and a billiards championship in both time and points format.
The tournament will serve as a big boost for the Asian players as the prize money will be big and they will get exposure, especially those players who are unable to play the pro circuit.
Speaking about conducting these events, BSFI President Captain PVK Mohan said, “The Asian tour will initially have three host countries - India, Qatar and China. We want to give more exposure to Asian players. They need to adapt to the playing conditions, the food habits and also get the opportunity to earn good prize money, and these tournaments will help do that. Also, we want to conduct more tournaments for billiards and for ladies. The prize money has been less and now we are planning to host a number of tournaments with bigger prize money.
“Moreover we are going to have a coaching centre in Delhi, where we will have specialised coaching where a lot of players can train. With both Billiards and Snooker World Championship being conducted back-to-back, many players have shown interest in taking up billiards. Our aim is to promote billiards in more countries.”
Mohan also spoke about the success of the inaugural edition of the Cue Slam held this year. “A lot of international players have expressed their desire to be a part of the cue slam next year. The second edition will be held in March in two states and the number of participating teams will be eight.”
In addition to this, the Asian 6-Red will be held in Chandigarh in April next year along with the Team Championship. Meanwhile, the BSFI will be
Meanwhile the BSFI has bid to host three events in the upcoming year, which include the Asian 6-Red and Team Championships, IBSF World Billiards Championship and the IBSF World Snooker Championship.
The Asian 6-Red has already been allotted to India. The event slated to be held in April, will be conducted in Chandigarh.