In a first, Vizag will be hosting the fourth Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament at Novotel hotel in the city from September 12 to 16.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will inaugurate the event on September 11. Four-time world champion and Scottish great John Higgins will be the star attraction along with Stuart Bingham, Anthony Hamilton, Graeme Dott, Shaun Murphy, Ricky Walden, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire, Luca Brecel and David Gilbert, the other big names in the field who will be participating in the tournament.
Indian snooker player Pankaj Advani has pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons, the president of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India Capt. P.V.K. Mohan told the Hindu.
On the Indian side Lucky Vatnani (Hyderabad), Pandurangaiah (Nellore), Asutosh Pady (Odisha), Malkeet Singh (Delhi), Laxman Rawat (Delhi) and Srikrishna (Chennai) are six Indian wild card entries.
The tournament offers a total prize money of £3,00,000, and the winner will take home £50,000.
District Collector Pravin Kumar told the Hindu that Vizag has emerged the sports capital of Andhra Pradesh as the city has been hosting international sporting events. To encourage sports enthusiasts to attend the five-day snooker event in larger numbers, entry to this tournament is free, he added.
Sources: The Hindu