Cueing glory: Chennai to host 90th National Billiards & Snooker Championships at Nehru Indoor Stadium

A month-long extravaganza, the event will host over 1,500 cueists making a historic return to the city.


Published Nov 13, 2023 | 2:28 PM Updated Nov 13, 2023 | 2:28 PM

Cueing glory: Chennai to host 90th National Billiards & Snooker Championships at Nehru Indoor Stadium

Commencing on November 21 at Chennai’s Nehru Indoor Stadium, the 90th edition of the National Billiards & Snooker Championships marks a significant return to the city for the first time since 2011.

Spanning over 30 days, the event is set to conclude on 25 December, featuring the participation of approximately 1,500 cueists across various formats and age groups.

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Diverse divisions

Aditya Mehta, Rafath Habib, Vidya Pillai, Brijesh Damani, Shrikrishna Suryanarayan, and Anupama Ramachandran are among the notable participants in the championship.

The tournament will encompass various divisions, including Senior Billiards & Snooker for both men and women, Masters Snooker, 6 Reds Snooker for both men and women, as well as sub-junior and junior billiards & snooker for boys and girls.

“If you consider snooker in Europe, it is making more money than cricket, while the prize money too is quite high, nearly at par with Wimbledon tennis, which is GBP 2,50,000,” said Tamil Nadu Billiards and Snooker Association (TNBSA) vice-president Rajmohan.

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Media impact 

“It’s all possible because of the visual (television) media. Gradually, with enough support, I assure you that we can gain immense popularity next to cricket. It is how the sport has gained popularity in England,” he shared.

In alignment with Rajmohan’s sentiments, TNBSA president BG Muralidharan emphasised that the primary hurdle for Indian snooker lies in reaching the masses, particularly at the grassroots level.


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“We have to reach out to more schools and universities; that’s how cricket has developed and gained popularity (in the country),” he said.

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Olympic aspirations

Rajmohan stated that they are actively working to ensure the inclusion of billiards and snooker in Olympic editions beyond the 2028 Los Angeles Games, as these indoor sports have not yet made it to the Olympics.

“England and even China have come up in the sport. They are strong countries, alongside France and Germany. If these four nations push for it, it will certainly be included in the Olympics,” he said.

Rajmohan concluded on a positive note, citing the significant increase in viewership since the advent of television and social media coverage.

He anticipates continued growth in the sport’s popularity and believes that, with this upward trend, the inclusion of billiards and snooker in the Olympics is a realistic possibility.

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