There was exciting news yesterday as a new Champion of Champions event was revealed by Barry Hearn at the Crucible.
The tournament, to be staged in Coventry between the 19th and 24th of November, will see the winners of all the big events this season go head-to-head for bragging rights and effectively ends the long-running Premier League.
In the fresh, revised format, the 16 invited competitors will be divided into groups of four, who will each compete across one-day mini competitions to decide the four semi-finalists.
Two refreshing aspects have been added to the tournament. The first is that it will be played over more frames than most other events, with the final set to be contested over best-of-23.
The second is that there will be no mid-session intervals with players only allowed two toilet breaks per match, while nobody will be allowed to take mid-frame relief either – one wonders what Neil Robertson thinks about that.
The winner will get a lucrative winner’s cheque of 100,000 pounds so it would be a surprise to see anybody invited turn down the opportunity.
On paper, it looks like a good initiative and a welcome change from the tiresome Premier League.
That tournament has a prestigious history but struggled to find a suitable format in recent years and with the influx of new events it tended to clog up the calendar – as it was played over a series of weeks on Thursday nights.
This should free up some more time to perhaps fit qualifiers more efficiently.
The only concern with the revelation is that, if the Premier League is dumped, it means that it will be another blow to snooker’s hopes of finding regular spots on Sky Sports.
Nevertheless, while World Snooker Chairman Hearn didn’t openly admit it, it would appear that free-to-air ITV will be the host broadcasters for the inaugural Champion of Champions while the popular promoter also hinted strongly that there will finally be the eagerly new ranking event in India next season.