Bangalore: Multiple world snooker title holder and last year's runner-up Pankaj Advani will lead the Indian charge at the IBSF world men's snooker championship from November 28 to December 3.

Advani last brought the snooker crown home in 2003. The International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) decided to shift the tournament from Bahrain to Bangalore due to prolonged crisis in some parts of Middle East Asia.

IBSF Board Member and tournament Director Barrie Jones told reporters that the round-robin matches would be held till Nov 30 followed by both quarterfinals and semifinals from Dec 2 and the final on December 3.

As many as 42 countries including India, Thailand, England, Australia, Pakistan and Ireland will take part in the tournament, the highest number for any international championship in this discipline, he said.

Indians Damandeep Singh and Balaji Reddy would be in the fray after two Qatari players declared their unavailability citing visa problems, Jones said.

A total of 87 cueists have been divided into 16 groups. The winner will get 40 per cent of the total prize money of $16000 with a trophy, certificate and medal. The runner-up and second runner-up would receive 20 per cent and 12.5 per cent of the total prize amount, he said.

Jones said financial constraints are a stumbling block to increase the number of world class tournaments. "If we get sponsorships, we hope to have more tournaments," he said.

Dechawat Poomjaeng of Thailand won last year's world snooker championship in Syria.

(Agencies)