Snooker World Cup 2011 - preview

01:47:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

We were just accommodating to China's Wuxi Classic, when all of the sudden we are urged to pack our bags and fly all the way to Thailand. We remain in Asia, but we change the climate a bit and also the language. Thailand is known for being a huge snooker lover and a lot of players have made their breakthrough starting from here.
Now, the time has come for Thailand to receive its award and to stage the revived World Cup is definitely a prestigious way of showing this country how much do we value its input on the sport.

A bit of history ...

The Snooker World Cup is not a new competition. It was actually born in 1979 as the World Challenge Cup and from 1981 it changed its name to World Team Classic. Although in 1985 it was renamed as the World Cup, from 1999 it became the Nations Cup.  Unfortunately from 2001 the competition wans't held anymore. A bit twisty and definitely chaotic, but it was great fun for the audience as well as for the players.
In 1996, the tournament was actually staged in Thailand and now, 15 years later it will return to the place where Scotland's team won its trophy. A trophy that is made out of gold and looks pretty fancy if you ask me :-P

Playing by the Rules

The famous trophy
So, what is this World Cup all about? Well, first of all you must acknowledge that it's about teams and not players. Remember that, for the prizes will also be cashed by the teams and NOT by a player.
Second of all, we have groups (A, B, C and D), each group being formed by five countries and each country being represented by two players. A bit hard? Don't worry, follow the story and you'll figure it out eventually ;-)

We have two stages: first is the round-robin group stage and second the knock-out stage.
For the Round-Robin group stage, each match will consist of five frames and all of them must be played. We shall see singles frames as well as doubles, each player taking on an opponent from the adverse team.
At the end of the match, one point will be awarded in the group for every frame won.

Frame 1: singles (player 1 v. player 1)
Frame 2: singles (player 2 v. player 2)
Frame 3: doubles (alternate shots)
Frame 4: reverse singles (player 1 v. player 2)
Frame 5: reverse singles (player 2 v. player 1).

Last time the World Cup was in Thailand, Scotland won
For the Knock-Out stages, matches will consist of a "best of 7 frames". If the match ends up to be tied at 3 frames each, a singles frame will be played, this determining the winner. Players will not be permitted to play consecutive frames in singles matches.

Frame 1: singles
Frame 2: singles
Frame 3: doubles (alternate shots)
Frame 4: reverse singles
Frame 5: reverse singles
Frame 6: doubles (alternate shots)
Frame 7: sudden death singles players nominated by the captain.

Groups, teams, players

As mentioned before we have four groups, each of them having five countries in its component and each country being represented by two players. Below you can see who is who and what is what :-))

Group A
Wales (Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens)
Egypt (Wael Talat and Yasser El-Sherbini)
Pakistan (Sahid Aftab and Muhammad Sajjad)
Germany (Patrick Einsle and Lasse M√ľnstermann)
Ireland (Ken Doherty and Fergal O'Brien)

Group B
China (Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo)
Thailand 1 (James Wattana and Dechawat Poomjaeng)
UAE (Mohmmed Mustafa Shehab and Mohammed Al Joaker)
Malta (Tony Drago and Alex Borg)
Australia (Neil Robertson and Steve Mifsud)

Group C
England (Mark Selby and Ali Carter)
Brazil (Fabio Luersen and Noel Rodrigues)
India (Aditya Metha and Pankaj Advani)
Belgium (Bjorn Haneveer and Luca Brecel)
Northern Ireland (Mark Allen and Gerard Greene)

Group D
Scotland (John Higgins and Stephen Maguire)
Thailand 2 (Passakorn Sunwannawat and Thepchaiya Un-nooh)
Afghanistan (Mohammad Rais Senzahi and Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi)
Poland (Kacper Filipiak and Krzysztof Wrobel)
Hong Kong (Marco Fu and Fung Kwok Wai)

More information you can find on the official website put together especially for the PTT-EGAT World Cup, as well as on the good old World Snooker.

Today's schedule:

From 07:00 (UK time)
Group A: Pakistan v. Republic of Ireland
Group C: Brazil v. Belgium
Group D: Thailand 2 v. Afghanistan
Group D: Hong Kong v. Poland

From 13:00 (UK time)
Group B: Thailand 1 v. Australia
Group A: Egypt v. Germany
Group C: India v. Northern Ireland
Group B: China v. Malta

TV coverage:
07:00 - 11:00 British EuroSport 2
13:00 - 17:00 British EuroSport 2

I shall update the scoreline by the minute, so be sure to follow me on Twitter! :-)
The Snooker World Cup runs from 11 -17 of July in Bangkok, Thailand.