February 10, 2010

China Open Wildcards – Looks like I spoke too soon…..

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 4:23 pm

Manan Chandra - Famous in Indian Snooker circles but not that famous anywhere else

Regular readers on here may remember my joy at the apparent decision by World Snooker not to go ahead with the ‘let the locals have a go’ element of the China Open next month. Well, I’m afraid I spoke far too soon and idiocy has prevailed and the eight lowest ranked players to qualify for what is after all a ranking event, are being asked to qualify again against a collection of six Chinese players, one Indian player and a player from Thailand.

Whilst I cannot for one second claim to know how good all these players are, I do know that Tian Pengfei is a good player (formerly on the pro tour) and will definitely present a big challenge for Dark Mavis in front of a partisan, chatty, mobile phone ringing, flash photography taking audience, having despatched of Ding in this last year. Also, Yu Delu was the guy who knocked out Rod Lawler at this stage last year and sent him home on day one.

I know it’s all about widening the game up and making it have a more global appeal, but must they do this in a ranking event with players futures at stake? I for one think it is extremely unfair and would cause uproar if it were to happen in a tournament over here. It’s particularly unfair that players such as Bjorn Haneever, who rarely qualifies beyond the first couple of matches are being asked to win again before facing a big name. The unlucky qualifiers and their fortunate opponents are listed below.

Tian 'The Penguin' Pengfei - a dangerous opponent

WC1 – Rod Lawler v Supoj Saenla

WC2 – Robert Milkins v Lu Chenwei

WC3 – Andrew Higginson v Li Yan

WC4 – Mark Davis v Tian Pengfei


WC5 – James Wattana v Manan Chandra

WC6 – Tony Drago v Shi Shuamgyang

WC7 – Rory McLeod v Tang Jun

WC8 – Bjorn Haneveer v Yu Delu

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