"Its always been a pleasure to partner with [Brijesh Damani]. I can't wait to step out with him."
Both India and Pakistan will compete at the Snooker World Cup 2017. Taking place in Wuxi, China, the event will witness 24 countries battle for the top spot.
Organised by World Snooker, the tournament will run from 3rd July to 9th July 2017. It’s scheduled to take place at the Wuxi City Sports Stadium.
With a handsome total prize fund of $700,000 (approx. £540,000), the teams will hope to bring home the Snooker World Cup 2017 trophy. And the winners’ fund of $200,000 (approx. £154,000).
The previous tournament took place in 2015, where China B won the tournament with Scotland as runners-up. For 2017, both India and Pakistan hope to make a big impact with their outstanding players.
Snooker World Cup 2017 will first begin with preliminary rounds as the 24 teams will become divided into 4 groups. The groupings have been listed as:
- Group A ~ China B (1), Wales (8), Norway, Finland, Malaysia, Brazil.
- Group B ~ China A (4), Hong Kong (5), Germany, Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Egypt.
- Group C ~ England (3), Australia (6), Malta, Switzerland, Pakistan, Iran.
- Group D ~ Scotland (2), Northern Ireland (7), Cyprus, Thailand, India, Israel.
Each team will play five league matches within their groups, scheduled from the 3rd July to 7th July. Once the first round finishes, the top two cueists from all four groups will advance to the knockout rounds.
These will begin with the Quarter Finals, taking place on 8th July. The following day (9th July), the Semi Finals and Finals will conclude the Snooker World Cup 2017.
While the winners will receive the top prize of $200,000, the runners up will win $100,000 (approx. £77,000). In addition, all other teams will receive cash prizes, depending on their position in the tournament. These will range from $60,000 (approx. £46,000) to $7,500 (approx. £5,700).
The Top Ranked Players
This year witnesses a flurry of the world’s top-ranked snooker players competing in the 2017 Snooker World Cup. They will surely aim to make a great impression throughout the tournament and set their sights for the winning spot.
Amongst the players include Ding Junhui, who ranks at No.4 and hails as China’s leading snooker player. He has previously won 12 world ranking snooker titles. His partner Liang Wenbo won his maiden ranking title in 2017.
England are also a strong side, with their two players ranked in the top 5. Judd Trump (No.3) and Barry Hawkins (No.5) make their first appearance at the Snooker World Cup 2017.
John Higgins (No.2) also returns to the tournament for Scotland, after becoming a runner-up in the 2015 edition. Other notable ranked players also include Marco Fu (No.6), playing for Hong Kong and Neil Robertson (No.7) representing Australia.
For the Snooker World Cup 2017, India’s team will consist of Aditya Mehta and Brijesh Damani. While Aditya Mehta ranks at No.99, Brijesh Damani is currently unranked in the world listings.
Aditya has previously competed at the tournament and landed in the Semi-Finals with Pankaj Advani. Unfortunately, they lost to Scotland in a narrowing defeat. But Aditya returns, hoping to make further progress with his new partner Brijesh Damani.
The Mumbai snooker player has also previously won a gold medal at the 2013 World Games and became runner-up at the 2013 Indian Open.
On social media, he has revealed his excitement of the tournament, saying: “Its always been a pleasure to partner with [Brijesh Damani]. Have a great record together and I can’t wait to step out with him at the #WorldCup. [sic]”
Brijesh Damani has also enjoyed an excellent career so far in snooker. First winning the 2008 Indian National Snooker Championship, the player also received a silver medal in the 2010 Asian Games.
Fans are already excited for the duo’s performance, with one saying on Twitter: “Good luck to [Aditya Mehta] and [Brijesh Damani] at the snooker world cup. Favourite people, favourite players. Got get em boys
Players Hamza Akbar and Shahram Changezi will compete in the tournament for Pakistan.
Hamza Akbar returns to the competition after just missing out on a spot in the knockout stages in 2015 with Muhammed Sajjad. Ranked at No.112, he became Pakistan’s national champion at just 19 years old.
Since then, he has won the 31st Asian Snooker Championship and entered the last 144 in the 2017 World Championship.
Speaking exclusively to DESIblitz about the Snooker World Cup 2017, he revealed: “I’m looking forward to representing Pakistan once again in the World Cup in Wuxi China. I played on this event 2 years ago and missed the Quarter Finals by 1 frame.
“This time I am partnered by twice Pakistan National Champion and former Q-school and PTC player Shahram Changezi from Islamabad. He is an experienced player.
“Our goal is to finish in the top 2 to qualify for Quarter finals and we feel confident. We request the support of the Pakistani public who are on a high after the ICC Champions Trophy success.”
The tournament will also mark Shahram Changezi’s first appearance. An unranked player, he has previously entered the last 64 in the Players Championship in 2011. He will hoping to make his mark in the Snooker World Cup 2017.
For this year’s tournament, both India and Pakistan will hope to cause an upset and storm ahead through the 2017 edition. While Pakistan will go against the strong-handed England and Australia in Group C, India will also face a tough battle with Scotland and Northern Ireland in Group D.
You don’t want to miss the thrilling matches of the World Cup. India will battle against Israel in their opening match, as Pakistan takes on Iran.
Watch the Snooker World Cup 2017 on Eurosport 2, beginning on 3rd July 2017.