Mumbai, Nov 17 (UNI) Political turmoil in Pakistan notwithstanding, cueists from either side of the border will cross their wits on the green baize for the 4th Indo-Pak Peace Cup snooker tournament in Delhi from December 3 to 7.
The tournament has, however, been advanced by two days to allow the cueists some rest after the ongoing IBSF World snooker championship currently on at Korat in Thailand. Originally, the tournament was scheduled from December 1 to 6. The prize money for the Peace Cup has now been set at 2000 dollars for the winners and 1500 dollars for the runners-up, a release issued by Organising Secretary, Amarjit Singh stated.
India is the defending champion having won the tournament in 2005 in Pakistan. The return leg in India got delayed thrice due to various reasons during the past one year.
The five-day tournament will be played at the Siri Fort Sports Complex with three-test each comprising singles, doubles and reverse singles over best-of-three frames.
Pakistan team comprises the seasoned Saleh Mohammed, whom Pankaj Advani defeated on way to winning the 2003 World Snooker championship in China. The other team members are all experienced cueists who have done well for Pakistan at the Asian level.
Indian team is yet to be finalised though top four on the ranking list have been confirmed. Yasin Merchant and Alok Kumar, the brains behind the Peace Cup, will have Rupesh Shah and Manan Chandra for company. The fifth player though would either be Pankaj Advani or Geet Sethi. Busan Asian Games snooker doubles gold medalist, Rafath Habib is the reserve player, the release added.
The Vice-President of the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sport (ACBS), Asghar Ali Walika, who is also the President of the Pakistan federation, will accompany the Pakistani team and have negotiations with his Indian counterparts for the future series.
The tournament will be conducted by international referee Ajay Rastogi, who has been named the Tournament Director, the release added.
The teams: India: Yasin Merchant, Alok Kumar, Rupesh Shah, Manan Chandra.
Pankaj Advani or Geet Sethi, Rafath Habib Pakistan: Saleh Mohammad, Imran Shehjad, Khurram Hussein Agha, Navin Kumar Parwani, Shahram Changezi. Mohammad Yusuf (coach), Javed Karim (manager).