Leading juniors will make up a strong field in the NSCI-BSAM Snooker Challenge 1 thatwill be held at the National Sports Club of India,Worli from July 8 to 13. This is the first of a series of four under-25 tournaments that the Billiards &Snooker Association of Maharashtra has decided to organize in a bid to giveupcoming players exposure and keep the interest in the sport alive.
There will be two tournaments each in Mumbai and Pune,with the second kicking off in Pune at the PYC Hindu Gymkhana on July 16. This initiative by BSAM is a step in the right direction. Its about time we woke upto the reality that if billiards and snooker have to thrive in our country we needto hone young minds. It gives us an opportunity to spot raw talent early,nurture fresh skills and transform them into world beaters. Kudos to BSAM forcoming up with this long term vision, said twice Asian champion YasinMerchant.
The NSCI-BSAM Snooker Challenge 1 will be a league-cum-knock out draw with 32players selected by the tournament committee from the entries received. Therewill be eight groups of four players each with the top two from each group qualifyingfor the knock out stage.
All league matches will be played over best-of-five frames up to the quarterfinals. The semi finals and final will be played over best-of-seven frames. Prizemoney and trophies will be awarded to the last eight players. It is not mandatory for all the four events to be played on a league-cum-knockout. We could have them on a knock out basis but accommodate more than 32players, explained tournament director Derek Sippy.
Some of the young cueists to feature at NSCI are,Laxman Rawat,the recent Asian 6-Redsnooker bronze medallist,state junior and sub junior champion Ishpreet SinghChadha,former state junior billiards champion Jaiveer Dingra and ZubinLeninwalla,among others.
BSAM has provided a very good platform for the under-25s to showcase their talent.Such tournaments would help them improve match temperament and become betterplayers, added Asian billiards bronze medallist Devendra Joshi.
Obviously,the old adage is as valid today as it ever was Catch them young and teachthem right, reasoned BSAM president and former world amateur billiardschampion Michael Ferreira. The game is increasingly for the young. So havingan under-25 tournament makes eminent sense.