World snooker: Rock concert leads reshuffling of schedule

Hyderabad, Nov 20 ( A rock concert in the neighbouring hall at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre caused the rescheduling of the ONGC-IBSF World Snooker championship as it would have unduely disturbed the players.

The knock-out round matches scheduled for a 7 p.m. start Friday have been postponed to Saturday, originally designated as a “rest day”, the officials said. The postponed matches are set for a 10 a.m. start Saturday.

The day’s afternoon schedule was thrown out of gear as all the four women’s pre-quarter final matches (best-of-seven frames) that commenced at 1 p.m. could not be completed ahead of the 4 p.m. session that was earmarked for the men’s Round of 64 ties.

In the event, the matches that also involve four Indians, were halted and will now be completed Friday night, “music or no music”, the organisers said.

Also halted were three Rounds of 32 matches in the Masters category and these would be also completed Friday night.

The stoppages understandably caused heartburn among some of the players who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was unfair for the matches to be halted and played on different tables.

“This is a knock-out round and a World championship for heaven’s sake. We have come all the way across the world after a lot of preparation. The organisers could have planned the schedule better,” said a foreign participant.

Through the past week, several matches in the women’s and Masters categories were played on two different tables in view of the spill-over. Several best-of-five frames matches went beyond the allotted three hours. The other night, one frame lasted over an hour and one tie saw the frame being replayed as neither player could make any progress.

In sharp contrast, China’s Tian Pengfei won 4-0 the other night in about 43 minutes and today, the same player took about an hour to knock out India’s Brijesh Damani 4-0 in about an hour.