Professional budget cut
Despite an announcement that Professional billiards would receive the
same level of funding as last season, the WPBSA have decided to cut
back on the £150,000 previously allocated for this purpose and the
budget for the 2002-03 season will now be £50,000.
No plans to stage any tournaments have yet been confirmed and official
sources advise that the professional season will not start before
Initial indications that the top English professionals would be invited
to contest a “test series” of three matches against an Indian team, seem
to be receding. Michael Ferreira, organiser of this tour, is now focusing
his attention on developing the game within the Asian community and
active consideration is being given to the practicality of running a five
nation “Asian” competition. If it comes about, it would replace the
event with England, making it potentially a depressingly short season
for our professionals.
Problems with obtaining a visa and sorting out accommodation meant
that Peter Gilchrist was delayed by almost a month in taking up his
new post as National Coach in Qatar. He eventually arrived in the
capital, Doha, in the middle of August for the start of an anticipated
Gilchrist has now stood down from his position as Chairman of the
WBA, although he retains his place as a member of the Billiards
Committee. No new appointment for Chairman has yet been announced.
Mike Russell, whose status as a coach was boosted by the success of
Thailand’s national team in the recent Asian Games, departed for a tour
of New Zealand and Australia. Arriving at Auckland on 6th November,
he will embark on an intensive series of exhibition engagements visiting
Hamilton, Hastings, Petone, Christchurch (2 nights), Oamaru and
Invercargill before returning to Auckland on 14th November to do
some coaching of the players in the New Zealand team for the IBSF
Championships. Mike will then travel on to Australia where he intends
to take part in the IBSF Championship himself.
The IBSF had their long-awaited elections during the course of their
Snooker Championship, held at the Movenpick Hotel, Cairo from
19th October to 2nd November. Tony Hull who was opposed for the
post of president by a former incumbent Mohanjit Singh (Singapore)
managed to retain his position, and W Y Chin (Malaysia) was elected
as vice-president in preference to Pascal Guillaume (France). Sam Louw
(South Africa) was elected as a life member. Bill Telford (Northern
Ireland) and Linda Den Hartog (Holland) were unopposed in their
posts of treasurer and secretary respectively.