Bangalore: Eight-time world champion Pankaj Advani could meet World Games gold medallist Aditya Mehta in the quarterfinals of the Indian Open 2013 World Professional Ranking Snooker tournament as both the cueists have been drawn in the same half for the 300,000 pound event in New Delhi.
As per the draw released by the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) president Capt PVK Mohan here today, Advani is drawn to play World No. 29 Marcus Campell in the first round while Aditya takes on 2002 World champion Peter Ebdon in his lung-opener for October 14 to 18 tournament.
Advani and Aditya, the only two Indians on the professional circuit, are among the top 64 players to qualify for the Indian Open, the first of its kind in India.
The five-day world ranking event will see top cueists from across the globe battling for a whopping winner`s prize purse of 50,000 pound.
"The best-of-seven format throws the tournament wide open. As for me, I will be playing Campbell for the first time and I am quite excited to be playing at home," Advani told reporters after the announcement of draw.
On the chances of six Indian wild card entries selected after a two-tier qualifying competition, Advani opined that all of them might find it difficult due to the playing conditions, notably the tables with double-shaven nap and sensitive pockets.
"It took me nearly six months to get used to these tables that demand a light touch. The balls used are very light and sensitive, while the pockets call for precision. However, the best-of-seven frames format gives everyone a chance," he said.
Capt Mohan informed the arrangements for the tournament were well on their way and advance teams from World Snooker have certified the venue, the Le Meredien hotel, besides suggesting some changes that were being implemented.
"I am happy to inform you that the arrangements for the tournament are in place. We have had visits by World Snooker team and we are implementing their suggestions," he said.
"As for the sponsors, we already have on board the Union Tourism Ministry, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of Hyderabad and National Insurance, while we are in advanced stage of discussions with ONGC. Further, Neo Sports will be telecasting the matches while Doordarshan might also be involved," Capt Mohan stated.
Besides Advani and Aditya, who will be carrying Indian hopes, the tournament will see World`s top 10 players, including World No.1 Neil Robertson, four-time World champion John Higgins apart from a clutch of Chinese stars led by 12th ranked Ding Junhui.
Capt Mohan said there will be four championship tables besides three practice tables in the adjoining hall at the venue, which will also house all the players.
All the matches, including the semi-finals, will be decided on best-of-seven frame basis while the final will be played over nine frames.
"On October 14 and 15, there will be two sessions of play starting at 10 am and 7 pm while there will be an additional session at 1.30 pm over the next three days. The semi-finals and final will be played on October 18 at 1.30 pm and 7 pm, respectively," Capt Mohan said.
Few players who could not make the cut for the championship ? Alex Borg, Shaun Murphy, Judd Trump, Jimmy White, Alfie Burden and Steve Davis.
Players who made the cut - Neil Robertson, Nippon Saengkham, Allison Carter, Liang Wento, Ding Junhu, John Higgins, Joe Perry, James Wattanna, Ken Dhorty, Anda Zhang, Tony Drago, Marco Fu, Micheal Holt, Nigel Bond, Peter Ebdon, Mark Williams, Yu De Lu, Mark Selly.
The Indian Wild Card entries will be playing against the following - 1) Manan Chandra v/s Jeff Cundy; 2) Kamal Chawla v/s Rod Lawler; 3) Sundeeep Gulati v/s Liam Highfield; 4) Shivam Arora v/s Robbie Williams; 5) Faisal Khan v/s Antony McGill; 6) Dharmender Lilly v/s Paul Davison.