For the first time, Vizag will be hosting the fourth Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament at Novotel hotel in the city from September 12 to 16.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will inaugurate the event on September 11 evening. Four-time world champion and Scottish great John Higgins will be the star attraction in the fourth Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament and Stuart Bingham, Anthony Hamilton, Graeme Dott, Shaun Murphy, Ricky Walden, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire, Luca Brecel and David Gilbert are some of the other big names in the field will be taking part in the tournament.
Indian star snooker Pankaj Advani has pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons, said the president of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India Capt. P.V.K. Mohan here on Saturday.
Lucky Vatnani (Hyderabad), Pandurangaiah (Nellore), Asutosh Pady (Odisha), Malkeet Singh (Delhi), Laxman Rawat (Delhi) and Srikrishna (Chennai) are the six Indian wild card entries in the tournament and Aditya Mehta will feature in the qualifying rounds. Capt.
Mohan said that so far Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad had hosted the tournament in India and now Vizag got the chance to host the tournament.
The tournament offers a total prize money of £3,00,000, and the winner will take home £50,000. The event will be broadcast live on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD, he added.
Snooker is no more a rich man’s sport as the game was so popular in the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the country. Snooker saw millions of viewers tune in to watch the skilled game on TV, Capt. Mohan added.
District Collector Pravin Kumar said that Vizag has emerged the sports capital of Andhra Pradesh as the city has been hosting international sporting events.
To encourage sports enthusiasts to attend the five-day snooker event in larger numbers, entry to this tournament is free, he added.