Mumbai, March 2: India's top 8 ranked players, including star cueist Pankaj Advani (ONGC), will vie for top honours in the Rs 12.9 lakh prize money CCI All India Open Snooker Championship which begins on Monday.
Laxman Rawat (Indian Oil), Aditya Mehta (ONGC), Kamal Chawla (Railways) will also be vying for the champions' top prize of Rs two lakh, a release stated on Saturday.
Sourav Kothari (ONGC), who had finished runner-up in the last edition, Sundeep Gulati (Delhi), Varun Madan (Delhi) and M Yogesh Kumar (Karnataka) are the four other top-ranked players in the fray.
Last year's champion Brijesh Damani (West Bengal), Sumit Talwar (Chandigarh), Divya Sharma (Haryana), Akshay Kumar (UP), Himanshu Jain (Telangana) and Shoaib Khan (Delhi) are some of the strong contenders from outside Mumbai.
The local challenge will come from Cricket Club of India's Nikhil Ootam, Rahul Sachdev, Hasan Badani, Mukund Bharadia and Shahbaz Khan. Khar Gymkhana's young, talented cueists Sparsh Pherwani, Kreishh Gurbaxani and Ishpreet Singh Chadha will also look to make an impact.
Veteran cueists - former National champion and two-time Asian snooker champion Yasin Merchant (Khar Gymkhana) and Alok Kumar (ONGC)- would also be fighting it out.
Three women Sangeeta Hemchand (CCI), Arantxa Sanchis (Pune) and Varsha Sanjeev (KSBA) - will also be seen in action. The runner-up will pocket a purse of Rs 1.30 lakh, while the two losing semi-finalists will receive Rs 75,000 each. The losing quarter-finalists will get Rs 40,000 each. In addition a special cash award of Rs 25,000 would be presented to the player who compiles the highest break with break of 130 being the minimum qualification.