Ace cueist Pankaj Advani, who recently won the Asian Snooker Championship and World 6-Red crown, will be the star attraction in the ‘GSC World Snooker Qualifiers’, a national selection tournament, that will be played here from Sunday.
The tournament is being hosted by the Goregaon Sports Club (GSC) from October 17 to 27, 2021.
This BSFI selection tournament is being organised by ‘The Sportal’ and will consist of three events — men’s, women’s and boys’ under-21, a media release issued here said today.
The matches will be played in a round-robin league format.
According to Indian coach Ashok Shandilya, the competition is expected to be tough as only the top two players from each category will qualify to represent the country in the World Snooker Championship to be played in Doha later this year, either in November or December. The dates are not yet to be finalised.
Advani clinched his 24th world title-winning the 6-Red Snooker World Cup in Doha, Qatar last month and had earlier retained his Asian snooker title, also played in the Gulf city.
He is the firm favourite to finish at the top and confirm his place in the Indian team.
Advani (PSPB) will face a strong challenge from Indian number one and current national champion Aditya Mehta.
Meanwhile, India No. 1 and reigning national champion Vidya Pillai (Karnataka) and India No. 2 Amee Kamani (Madhya Pradesh) will spearhead the field in the women’s competition.
The participating players: Men: Aditya Mehta (PSPB), Pankaj Advani (PSPB), Laxman Rawat (PSPB), Pushpender Singh (RSPB), Dhvaj Haria (PSPB), Varun Madan (DEL), Himanshu Jain (TEL), Neeraj Kumar (RSPB).
Women: Vidya Pillai (KTK), Amee Kamani (MP), Varsha Sanjeev (TN), Anupama R. (TN), Arantxa Sanchis (MAH), Chitra M. (KTK), Keerath Bhandaal (DEL), Suniti Damani (WB).