Snooker - Snooker heading to India in October

World Snooker has announced that a world ranking tournament will be held in India for the first time this year.

Snooker - Snooker heading to India in October

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barry hearn

The Indian Open will run from October 14 to 18 in Delhi as World Snooker aims to tap into a new global market, following a notable move into China.

The total prize money on offer will be £300,000, with the winner of the 64-player tournament taking home £50,000.

A qualifying round will be held in August in Doncaster to determine who makes the trip to India.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "This is a momentous announcement for snooker as we stage a world ranking event in India for the very first time. If we can replicate the phenomenal success we have had in China then India will be a very exciting prospect.

"It's amazing to think that snooker was invented in India in 1875, and now nearly 140 years later we are taking the world's leading players back for a major ranking tournament.

"This is fantastic opportunity for the players to showcase their skills in a new territory and I hope they grasp it."

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson added: "I have been in Delhi this week to finalise the agreement for the event and I have witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm for snooker in India. The people really love our game and I've no doubt that this event will be a great success and provide a basis for snooker's growth in India.

"We now have two Indian players on the professional tour, Aditya Mehta who reached the last 16 of the International Championship last season, and Pankaj Advani who got to the semi-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic and the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open ranking event. Both of these players are excellent role models for snooker and hopefully their success will help increase participation levels among the youth in India.

"Delhi is a wonderful city with a rich and deep history of billiard sports and we look forward to working with our new partners in the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India. For the players who earn a place in the tournament it's going to be an amazing experience in Incredible India.

"We believe that snooker is the world's fastest growing sport and this is another huge step forward in our globalisation plan."

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