Snooker: Holders China enjoy double advantage at World Cup
- Updated: March 19, 2015
March 19, 2015: Holders China will enjoy a double advantage when the 23-nation World Cup is held in Wuxi from June 15-21, marking the tournament’s first edition since 2011.
China will not only have home advantage but also two two-man teams, while 22 other national sides will also bid for the US$200,000 winner’s prize. The format will be a combination of singles and doubles play.
China, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Malaysia and Thailand are among the Asian nations in line to compete, while others include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, England, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The 24 teams will be divided into four groups of six, with each team to play five matches in the round-robin group stage. The top two teams in each group qualify for the knockout stage.
Jason Ferguson, Chairman of the WPBSA (World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association), said: “We are delighted to bring the World Cup back for the first time since 2011 and especially to stage it in the wonderful city of Wuxi.
“With so much support for snooker in China, I have no doubt the World Cup will be a great success. Snooker has grown massively as an international sport in recent years so it is fitting that we are now bringing back the World Cup and we plan for it to become a biennial event, with the next one in 2017.”
The full contingent of nations competing will be published following the completion of World Snooker’s Q-School in May. Selection of the players will be based on their world ranking at the end of this year’s World Championship, which will be held at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, from April 18-May 4.
“The players will be striving to climb the ranking list between now and the end of the season to earn a World Cup place. There is some incredible talent out there among nations which have not traditionally been snooker hotbeds, and now those players have the opportunity to show their skill on a major stage,” Ferguson said.
“World Cups are always fantastic events in any sport because the players feel as if they are representing a nation, and the fans in each country can get right behind their team. Snooker is usually an individual game, so to play in a team brings a new kind of pressure.”
The World Cup dates back to 1979 and previous winners include Wales, England, Canada, Ireland, Scotland and current holders China.
Source: World Snooker (www.worldsnooker.com); Editing by SportAsia