Aditya Mehta will begin the 2012-13 professional snooker tour with the Wuxi Classic qualifiers at the World Snooker Academy, Sheffield, from June 5 to 8.

Mehta, who won his second senior national snooker title defeating Kamal Chawla recently at Pune, earned a direct two-year card (2012-13 and 2013-14) for professional snooker by winning the Asian Championships in Doha. Since Mehta got a direct entry, Pankaj Advani received the wild card quota allotted India.

Mehta and Advani will get to compete between 20 and 25 tournaments over a period of 10 months.

The 2012-13 pro tour will see 99 players in action, with the top 64 in the two-year world ranking list given direct entry.

The other 35 comprise eight players from the 2011-2012 Players Tour Championship (PTC) order of merit but do not figure in the top 64, twelve from the World Snooker Academy Q school, the ISBF world and u-21 champions, the Asian champion and the Asian u-21 champion, the European champion and European u-21 champion, two wild cards to China and Europe and one each to Thailand, India, Canada (Americas), Africa and Oceania.

Mehta was felicitated by the Billiards & Snooker Association of Maharashtra (BSAM) on Tuesday at the launch of the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana National 6-red snooker championship.

BSAM also honoured Devendra Joshi, Arantxa Sanchis, Meenal Thakur, Jaiveer Dhingra and Ishpreet Singh Chadha.

The main draw of the men's National 6-red snooker will feature defending champion Shahbaaz Khan, Dhruv Sitwala, Devendra Joshi, Manan Chandra, Kamal Chawla, Faisal Khan, Ashok Shandilya among others. The women's event will feature defending champion Chitra Magimairaj, Arantxa Sanchis, Anuja Thakur-Chandra, Meenal Thakur, Uma Devi and Suniti Damani. The main draw starts on June 6.

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