By M. Shamil Amit
The cue players will be back in action as the Billiards and Snooker Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) have finalized arrangements to conduct the National Snooker Championship of 2020 which was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic that prevailed in the country.
The National Snooker Championship which is the 68th edition will be played for the U.W. Sumathipala Memorial Trophy presented by the Sumathi Group of Companies who are the main sponsors.
Before the national snooker championship, the BASL will be conducting two qualifying tournaments with the first being the district tournaments which will be conducted in Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Galle districts. The Colombo district tournament will see 89 players in the fray with Nuwara Eliya being contested by 39 players while Kandy will see 31 players and Galle 25 players.
The completion of the district tournaments will see nine players in each district amounting to 36 players confronting each other in the second qualifying tournament which is the All-Island Lanka Plate Championship where the players will be fighting for the16 slots to contest along with the 16 national ranked players at the 68th National Snooker Championship which the date has not been confirmed yet.
The round-robin matches of the Colombo district tournament will be played at the MICH in Dematagoda from March 3 to 9 and the pre quarter-finals will be played at the Automobile Association Club in Colombo, the Nuwara Eliya tournament will be played at Thawalama Snooker Parlour, Hatton from March 1 to 5, the Kandy district tournament will be played at YMBA from March 1 to 5 and the Galle District also at the YMBA from March 4 to 8.
The preliminary round and the pre quarter-finals matches will be played over three frames and the quarter-finals over five frames. The two semi-finals will be played over seven frames and the final over nine frames which will be played in two sessions.For the record H.A.M. Rimzan of Moors SC emerged the champion at the 67th edition of the championship after defeating M. Thaha of MICH.