Open National Invitation Snooker Championship set to start on Dec 16

Kolkata: Poster boy of Indian cue sports, Pankaj Advani will be the star attraction in the second Kolkata Open National Invitation Snooker Championship, beginning here from December 16.

Like last year, the eight-time world champion would be seen in action only in the two-day Pro-Am doubles that will precede the Rs 6 lakh prize money main event from December 18-22.

In the main event, most of the big names of Indian cue sport including number two and defending champion Aditya Mehta, national snooker champion and number seven Manan Chandra, number five Brijesh Damani and billiards champion Alok Kumar will be vying for top honours in four groups.

Two from each group will make the cut for the quarterfinals as the winner will take home Rs 1.25 lakh.

The 12-team, four group Pro-Am meet seeks to give exposure to the talented amateurs from the city as Advani will partner Rajesh Tulsian in group A.

Advani`s team had made a quarterfinal exit in last edition of the Pro-Am that was won by the duo of Alok Kumar and Anil Poddar who feature in group C.

The field (main event)

Group A: Aditya Mehta (PSPB), Kamal Chawla (Rly), Laxman Rawat, Rohit Rajgarha and Ravi Goenka (both Bengal).

Group B: Manan Chandra (PSPB), Shivam Arora, Dharminder Lilly (Punjab), Siddharth Parikh (Rly) and Abhishek Kedia (Ben).

Group C: Brijesh Damani (PSPB), Yasin Merchant (Mah), Vijay Nichani (TN), Sundeep Gulati (Del) and Rajesh Tulsian (Ben).

Group D: Alok Kumar, Saurav Kothari (both PSPB), Aamir Hussain, Ankit Kariwala, Shreevardhan Poddar (all Ben) and Faisal Khan (Rly).