Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Ahead to India

It appears justice has prevailed.

Aditya Mehta and Pankaj Advani will play in Delhi at the Indian Open. They came through matches, quite frankly, they should never have been playing at the Doncaster Dome to qualify.

They have saved World Snooker a blooper and can now, rightly, be the flag bearers for this exciting new event. It is no more than they deserve after the success they enjoyed on the professional tour last season helped to create the market for this event.

There has been much chitter chatter on the subject on Twitter, but for me it's quite straightforward.

My opinion is that Mehta and Advani should been fast-tracked through to the venue in Delhi to help establish this event in its first season. Forget what is the fairest system. Having them both at the venue is what is best for the long-term future of this event.

Now though, they have both got there on true merit. Their participation should help ticket sales and give an extra boost to any appetite for the game out there.

When the last 64 kicks off in Delhi in October it will be a big snooker breakthrough for the nation and hopefully the start of a bright future for the game in these far parts.

But not everyone is happy. The best of seven frame format all the way until the final gives the event a PTC feel. Then when we do make it to the showpiece, we will see the much criticised best of nine format.

Somehow this doesn't feel quite right for a ranking event, but we have to start somewhere and in time this event should grow. We have an event in India and that in itself is good progress.

Talking of where we begin, this tournament started in the Doncaster Dome. From a spectator perspective, it seems good.

Yorkshire is easily accessible for most of the UK fans and the chance to watch so many matches and so many different players in just a day or two still excites even the long-serving venue goers amongst us.

For the top players, these type of venues are from ideal though.

While Barry Hearn's brave new world for snooker promises a level playing field and the same chances available to all, the match conditions shouldn't be compromised on.

The game is nothing without its star players. While I don't believe they should be powdered with luxury, the basics need to be right.

Snooker players today seem refreshingly happy to 'tell it how it is' and the governing body needs to listen.

The comfort of my sofa and my inability to play the game at a decent level means I am not in a position to judge the playing conditions but, if what I read from a large numbers of players is correct, improvements need to be made.

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