"We have a long and rich tradition of billiards in our country. But in snooker, we don't have that tradition. The Indian Open is a dream come true for all of us and it will give a massive boost to the game of snooker in the country. With the hosting of this championship, we can say that snooker has a fantastic future in India," Advani said.

Aditya said he had never expected to compete at home in a Professional tournament against the top players of the world. "This is fantastic for Indian snooker and honestly I did not imagine this day would come so soon in my career. It was a dream for us that a Pro tournament came to our nation and we will compete with the world's best cueists. All the great players of Pro circuit will be coming for this tournament. We hope to be one amongst the world circuit's showpiece events," he said.

A strong field of 64 players, headed by World No.1 Neil Robertson, besides top two Indians, Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta, promises a rich feast of snooker in the Indian Open World Ranking Championship to be held at le Meridien hotel from October 14 to 18.

The only two Indians on the professional circuit, Advani and Aditya, made it to the main draw via the qualifying competition held at Doncaster, England in August.

India will be fielding six wild card entries besides the 64 cueists in the championship. The BSFI conducted two wild card qualifiers at Delhi and Bangalore from which Manan Chandra, Kamal Chawla, Faisal Khan, Sandeep Gulati, Shivam Arora and Dharminder Lily made the cut.


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