AT least 66 players are expected to fight for top honours at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC), as the Dar Open Snooker 2013 tournaments kicks off today at the club.
DGC snooker captain Firoz Yusufali told the 'Daily News' in Dar es Salaam that all necessary preparations are complete ready to stage the three-weeklong tournament, which will feature three Dar es Salaam based clubs. The tournament has been revived after about two years lull.
It was last staged in 2010 where veteran player Raju Kanabar emerged the winner after overpowering youngsters Sunny Lavingia in thrilling final, while third place went to Akil Akberali - all from DGC. Top players from the hosts are lined up for this year's event.
The players include youngsters and the winner of 2009 edition Arjun Lavingia, who missed the last tournament due to other commitment, but this time he has confirmed to compete in this year's event as he searches for another trophy to add in his cabinet.
Yusufali said at least 16 players have registered from Upanga club; Anadil Burhani has 15 and 35 from hosts DGC. He said four matches are scheduled to kick off in the opening day of the Cargo Stars sponsored event that will reach its climax on February 2. He thanked DGC's Chairman Dioniz Malinzi for sponsoring the event for four years now through his company.
The captain said they expected Malinzi who is also the Chairman of the National Sports Council (NSC) to grace the opening day, unfortunately he (Malinzi) will miss the opportunity because he will be out of the city today Yusufali himself is scheduled to confront Rohit Kotak of Upanga in the table N0.1 opening match, while Nikil Shangan of Upanga will take on his team-mate Firoz Nasser in the second match at the same table.
According to Yusufali, other today's matches will pit Mohammed Asgerali of Annadil Burhani against Pratik Dauda of Upanga and Ali Gulamali will face visitor Upanga's Subash Dauda. He said players are pooled in the four Groups named A, B, C and D.
He said in the group stage and quarter final level, players will be fighting into the best of three frames, while in the semi-final they will compete in the best of five and best of seven frames in the final. Yusufali predicted tough, thrilling and intriguing event due to the competitive level of the players.
Speaking to the 'Daily News' yesterday Akberali said he is well prepared to go step forward in this year's event. "In 2010 I finished third, it was tough battle, I expect much more improved results this time and I'm ready to fight....hope I can do much better," he said.