Before the Indian Open began, both the Billiard and Snooker Foundation of India (BSFI) and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) were sceptical about the tournament’s success, let alone its sustainability over a three-year period as per the contract, but what they have been left with after the five-day snooker extravaganza is only delightful memories.
Who would have known that the game will return to its birthplace 138 years after the sport was invented in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh in the form of 300,000-pound Indian Open world ranking snooker tournament. The inaugural edition left a lasting impression on the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) administrators as they went back home completely overwhelmed with the sport’s progress and after discovering a new market for snooker in India.
India is emerging as a force in snooker with top cueists — Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta — reigning supreme on the professional circuit. Mehta also created history by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of a ranking event in the Indian Open.
The world body is, therefore, keen to tap into the market here and the massive media coverage the event received and the good crowd support only strengthened the belief that India could be developed as a new snooker territory.
“It is a real significant moment for all of us as we bring snooker to India. Snooker has grown massively in the last three years and has gone to China, Belgium, Holland, all over Europe and now India... ” WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said.PTI
…The crowd support was phenomenal. They showed that whether one is well-versed with a sport or not, the love for sportspeople is unconditional