Indian Open cancelled amidst devastating Kerala floods

Indian Open cancelled amidst devastating Kerala floods

Monsoons have caused widespread flooding and landslides that have taken almost 400 lives in the region.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Barry Hearn, chairman of snooker governing body the WPBSA, has announced that the Indian Open competition will not go ahead during September after flooding caused havoc in the region of Kerala where the tournament was due to be based.

A regular ranking event in recent years

The Indian Open has become a feature of the snooker calendar since it's inception in 2013, touring the country to attract more members of the public to the growing sport. Past winners include Ding Junhui, Michael White, Anthony McGill and John Higgins, whilst Aditya Mehta is the most famous snooker player from India, although a lack of financial support forced him to retire in the summer.

Only last week, 110 players turned up at the Guild Hall in Preston to compete in the qualifiers for the tournament. The likes of Anthony McGill, Mark King and Ricky Walden were all sent tumbling out as the unpredictable nature of the sport continued.

Yet Hearn made the humane decision to cancel this year's competition on Tuesday, announcing to BBC Sport that the tournament will return "at a more appropriate time in support of the people of Kerala".

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Put into perspective

The impact of the flooding across the region has been extraordinary. Monsoons have been creating unprecedented volumes of rain since June, causing most of the 44 rivers in the region to burst.

The death toll has almost reached 400, with a large percentage of those losing their lives to landslides. A further 750,000 have taken refuge in makeshift camps, the equivalent to the population of Leeds. Meanwhile, rescuers have also announced they have saved over 200,000 natives, many of whom have been stranded for days with some unable to be rescued until the weather finally subsided at the weekend.

Yet local authorities have come under criticism for not acting sooner when advised that their flooding defences were not adequate. It was suggested that the local dams should gradually decrease their water levels but no movement was forthcoming before the disaster.

As the rescue missions continue and the restoration plans are put in place, the snooker world turns its thoughts to the extraordinary number of people who have seen their lives and homes destroyed by a devastating act of nature.
 

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