World Snooker has decided to postpone next month’s Indian Open in the wake of the floods that have devastated parts of the country last week.
It has yet to be determined when the tournament will now take place, with the qualifying round already completed in Preston a week ago.
“It is with regret that we must announce that the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming Indian Open in Kochi due to the flooding in the Kerala region,” read World Snooker’s statement.
“We are heartbroken to hear of the loss of life and suffering in the area and our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time.
“The tournament was due to take place from September 18th-22nd. However, the event will now go ahead at a later date and we are looking forward to travelling to the region in the near future. Further details on the re-scheduling will be released in due course.
“The Indian Open has become a firm fixture on the World Snooker Tour calendar since Ding Junhui’s victory at the inaugural running of the event in 2013. Last year 30-time ranking event winner John Higgins became the fourth player to take home the title.”
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “The World Snooker Tour is fortunate to be able to visit Incredible India each year for this fantastic event.”
“Everyone at World Snooker and the WPBSA has been devastated to hear about the horrendous flooding. There is no doubt in our mind that we will take our sport to this region at a more appropriate time in support of the people of Kerala.”
Jason Ferguson, chairman of the WPBSA later said: “We have been so fortunate in recent times to take our sport back to its roots in ‘Incredible India.’ We have met so many incredible people and made so many great friends in ‘incredible India’, our thoughts are with the people of India at this difficult time.”
“The postponement of this event is in support of the people of the Kerala and it is important that we stress that the event has been postponed – not cancelled. Snooker stands with Kerala and we fully intend to revisit the area at the appropriate time to show our support to the people.
“Among the tragic events that I have witnessed through the media during the past few days, we have also been moved by the resilience of those affected and I am looking forward to returning to the area soon.”
Shaun Murphy, chairman of the WPBSA Players Commission added: “On behalf of the players I would like to say that our thoughts are will all of the people who have been affected by the floods in Kerala and we are looking forward to visiting the area at a later date.”
If you wish to donate to the ongoing relief efforts in the region please click here for more information.