Snooker news: Plans revealed for the Indian Open to return to the calendar

November 3, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Indian Open 2016 - Day 5
Anthony McGill beat Kyren Wilson in the final of the 2016 Indian Open (Picture: Getty Images)

Work is underway for the the Indian Open to return to the snooker calendar in the ‘next 12-18 months’ confirms the president of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI), S. Balasubramaniam.

The ranking event has not been on the calendar since 2019 when Matt Selt lifted the title in Kochi, beating Lyu Haotian in the final.

That was the fifth edition of the tournament, with Ding Junhui, Michael White, Anthony McGill and John Higgins the previous winners in four different venues – New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Vishakhapatnam.

There is now hope that the Indian Open will be back on the schedule for the 2023/24 season, with the BSFI president sounding positive.

‘We are working on the Indian Open,’ he told The Hindu. ‘The next Indian Open should be held in the next 12 to 18 months.’

It was never one of the bigger events on the circuit, with the 2019 edition offering a top prize of £50,000, while last 64 losers would not be making much profit on their trip to the sub-continent with £2,000 winnings.

However, with ranking events still markedly reduced since the start of the pandemic as the tour is yet to return to China, any returning tournaments will be good news for players and fans alike.

India has a representative on the professional tour this season in Himanshu Jain, but Balasubramaniam feels there should be far more, working out that the number of players in the country warrants 20 professionals.

‘Professional snooker circuit is where the money is,’ he said. ‘Sadly, there is only one Indian there — Himanshu Jain. Going by the size of our country and the number of players we have, India should have at least 20 players in the top-128 on the pro circuit.

‘For that to happen, we need to set up basic infrastructure, and we should be able to fund players to go abroad for training. Professional snooker tournaments attract spectators and eyeballs.

‘People want to see the best in action. Unless Indians are in the pro circuit, this game will not go anywhere,’

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