The August issue of Snooker Scene just arrived in my letter box and on page 10 there is a very short article bringing some very interesting clarifications about the calendar.
First of all this article aknowledges that it will be very tricky to find space for the Championship League Snooker in the current calendar, with only the gap between Christmas and the Masters offering an obvious option.
Then, it reveals that the “possible ranking event” initially scheduled early October was supposed to be held in Saoudi Arabia and is definitely off. I can’t say that I’m devastated. Saoudi Arabia has been in the news recently for some of its absolutely barbaric policies/laws regarding sexuality and gender equality. It’s also a country where players from certain nationalities might find it extremely difficult (understatement) to obtain a visa. The above statements are in no way personally aimed at any player or citizen of the country. The vast majority of them, I’m sure are very decent persons.
It also reveals that the spot right after the Masters is for the European Masters, which is due to be played “somewhere in Belgium”, and that the Indian Open will be held on 23-28 March. Snooker Scene wouldn’t publish this if the above tournaments were not reasonably “secured”. There have been people on social media, including people close to some players, who have stated that they were “definitely off”. Clearly that’s not the case.
So this is good news, especially regarding the European Masters.