Are all eyes on the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015? No! Thousands were fixed on Indian Open snooker tournament went under way in the city of Mumbai.
Snooker in India has come a long way since it was invented by the British about 150 years ago. The Indian Open tournament held this year could attract enough attention to prove that the country’s still enthusiastic for the game of snooker.
It is interesting to note that India today boasts of more than a million players of the game and according to the critics, it is on the verge of becoming a global sport. The speculations are based on Aditya Mehta’s emergence as ranking-event finalist. The critics are claiming that the cue-sport is soon going to grow big and become a hot snooker bed!
India’s only pro Indian Open Snooker Championship tour card holder Aditya Mehta lost by a margin of 2-4 to England’s Ricky Walden. He became a runner-up in the first edition.
India has a long history of snooker. The game was invented in the city of Jabalpur in and around 1875. However, the game is still known as an elitist game in India, with limited number of enthusiasts as compared to sports like Cricket and football. This “elite” tag on the game may be blamed on the origin of the game in the hands of the British officers.
Today there are “snooker parlors” in most big cities in India. In a recent survey the Billiards and Snooker federation of India found that there are currently 2.5 million players in the country. The federation hopes that the figures are going to rise within the next few years.
At the Indian Open this year plans were unveiled for a new National League of snooker and hundreds of other tournaments throughout the country. Surely ‘cricket-crazy India sees “Hope” in snooker.