CCI Billiards Classic: Sitwala, Kothari and Jagdale to challenge Champion Advani

Mumbai: Defending champion Pankaj Advani will be leading a talented group of Indian and international billiards players, who will be vying for victory in the prestigious CCI Billiards Classic 2024, which offers a prize purse of Rs 10.15 lakh. The tournament, organized by the Cricket Club of India, will start at the CCI’s Sir Wilson Jones Billiards Hall on March 21.

Advani, India’s most successful cueist of all time with 27 World Championship titles to his name, has been in stellar form with three consecutive wins at CCI in the past year. He secured the CCI Classic Snooker title in January 2023 and successfully defended the earlier this month. Additionally, he claimed the CCI Classic Billiards championship last April, demonstrating his dominance at the venue.

Challenging Advani are top Indian players such as National Champion Dhruv Sitwala, National runner-up Sourav Kothari, and Maharashtra No. 1 Mahesh Jagdale, along with several other talented contenders. The tournament has also attracted five international players, including Peter Gilchrist of Singapore and Englishmen David Causier, Peter Sheehan, Chris Taylor, and last year’s runner-up Rob Hall.

Former world champions like Rupesh Shah, Ashok Shandilya, and Devendra Joshi will also be in contention, adding to the competitive field. The tournament format includes 24 seeded players in the main draw, who will be joined by eight qualifiers. The players will compete in round-robin league matches, with the top two from each group advancing to the knockout stage.

The championship winner will receive a prize of Rs 2,50,000 along with a trophy, while the runner-up will be awarded Rs 1,50,000. Prize money will be distributed to losing semifinalists, quarterfinalists, pre-quarterfinalists, and players who do not qualify for the knockout phase. Additionally, a prize of Rs 50,000 will be given to the player with the highest break, the organisers informed in a release on Sunday.

The tournament promises high-quality billiards action and fierce competition as players vie for the prestigious title and cash prizes.

The 24 players seeded in the main draw: Peter Gilchrist (Singapore), David Causier, Peter Sheehan, Chris Taylor, Rob Hall (all England), Pankaj Advani, Dhruv Sitwala, S. Srikrishna, Rupesh Shah, Alok Kumar, Siddharth Parikh, Kamal Chawla, Rohan Jambusaria, Aaditya Agarwal, Rayaan Razmi, Dhavaj Haria, Shahyan Razmi, Loukic Pathare, Vishal Madan, Sourav Kothari, Devendra Joshi, Ashok Shandilya, Arun Agarwal, V. Subramanian.


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