Former world champions Ashok Shandilya of Railways and Rupesh Shah of ONGC lead a strongfield of 32 cueists in the Cricket Club of India Billiards Classic to be played here from Monday.
The other heavyweights who will be seen in action are Devendra Joshi of BPCL, former two-time Asian Champion Dhruv Sitwala of ONGC and his team mates Alok Kumar and Saurabh Kothari, both of whom are also former winners of the AsianChampionship titles. The other stronger contenders include former world championship bronze medallists Siddharth Parikh of Railwaysand Dhvaj Haria of Indian Oil.
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The big guns will be joined by leading players from Mumbai, including Maharashtras top-four ranked players andMaharashtra junior number 1. The 32 players will be drawn in eight groups of foureach and will initially compete in a round-robin league.
The top players from each group will qualify for the knockoutphase starting from the pre-quarter-finals. The tournament offers a total prize fund of Rs 3.8 lakh with the champion standing to pocket the top prize of Rs 125,000 while the runner-up would earn Rs 75,000.
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