"We will host one of the pro snooker ranking events in February," confirmed S Balasubramaniam, the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India
(BSFI) secretary, to TOI on Thursday.
"It'll be a 250,000-pound event that will see the top 16 of the world getting a direct entry," Bala went on. "India will get six wildcard entries and the rest of the 10 cueists will come through various qualifying stages," he added.
"We want it to be a permanent fixture," Bala said and added that the BSFI was yet to decide on the venue. "We may decide on it (venue) during the Nationals (billiards and snooker) in Chennai in July."
"We had got an offer from WPBSA to host an event three months ago. At that time, we were not too keen, considering the cost involved. We had asked time till the Indore event to decide on the offer," Bala pointed out. "And at the BSFI managing committee meeting there last week, we decided that to go ahead with it."
"We always wanted to host a major event in the country. We want people to sit up and take notice that there is that kind of money available in the sport," explained Bala about the rationale behind hosting the pro event.
"Whatever we do in India, the Nationals, and other invitational events, they are held for a pittance. Which parent would be interested to put his kid into a sport that doesn't offer much?" he asked. "If somebody sees something big, there could be a better response."
Great to see another country getting a world snooker event this coming season. We already have the Brazillian and Australian Masters earlier on in the season and the World Cup in Thailand, but now we have a proper ranking event to plug the gap betweem the Welsh and China Open. It will be interesting to see how India makes this event unique to itself, like they did in Berlin for the German Masters with the 5 table open-plan setup.