BSFI signs 3-year contract with World snooker body

New Delhi, July 17 (IANS) The Billiard and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) signed a three-year contract with the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association here Wednesday.

This means that BSFI will be able to stage the World Ranking Snooker Tournament for the next three years with the first edition due to be held here Oct 14-18.

With the tournament being held in India for the first time, 72 cueists from across the globe would battle it out for the prize purse of 300,000 pounds with the winner taking home 50,000 pounds.

"We are excited to host a event of this scale on an annual basis to take cue sports in India to a new level," BSFI president P.V.K. Mohan told reporters here.

"Although snooker is a niche sport, we are confident that an event of this nature would give the viewers an opportunity to see the cream of world snooker," he added.

The qualifier for this event will see 128 participants slug it out in England with 64 then flying to India for the main event.

India would field six wild card entries while India's top two players, Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta, having already qualified.

"We are delighted to be part of the efforts being made by BSFI to popularize cue sports in India," said Jason Ferguson, chairman of World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

"India has produced several top ranking players in the past and has no dearth of talent and therefore a ranking event of this magnitude would only motivate the promising ones," he added.

Ferguson also said that he didn't want this event to be just one off, saying "Snooker in India is here to stay and we want to work with the BSFI for the long term future for the event."

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