Sports event returns to Chennai with all-India snooker meet – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: National-level sporting event will return to the city when India’s top cueists take part in the All-India Open Snooker Championship that starts here from Tuesday. The event is being held in memory of Ajay Rastogi, an international referee, who passed away due to covid-19 in September. The 83 players who are part of the event include Laxman Rawat — who won the World 6Reds event last year, 2002 Asian Games gold medalist Rafath Habib, Railways’ Faisal Khan and Yogesh Kumar, Maharashtra’s Kreish Gurbaxani among others.
Since the Covid outbreak in March, there have been no sports events in Chennai. So the organizers have to be doubly careful to ensure nothing goes wrong. They are making sure that the standard operating procedures are followed. In a bid to maintain social distancing norms, the event is being held in two venues. “We will have matches at TNBSA in Mandaveli and at the Saleem Snooker Academy in Cathedral Road. This has been done to maintain adequate social distancing,” said Soumini Srinivas, president of the Tamil Nadu Billiards and Snooker Association (TNBSA), the organisers of the event.
A handful of fans will also be allowed inside the venues. “We are allowing only a few people to watch the matches and they will have to wear masks at all times. Arrangements are also being made to telecast matches on online platforms,” Soumini said.
“We have players coming in from many parts of the country. This tournament is a tribute to Ajay who was a renowned referee and a widely-respected personality,” Soumini added. The winner of the knockout competition will pocket Rs 50,000 while the runner-up receives Rs 30,000. The final will be held on November 27.