World Cup 2011: Tournament Draw

The highly-anticipated draw for the first PTC event of the 2011/12 season maybe have been delayed until tomorrow but World Snooker have now confirmed the draw for next month’s Snooker World Cup…

  • To view the players involved please click here.

The draw as confirmed at World Snooker is as follows:

Group A


Heading Group A are  undoubtedly the Welsh and Republic of Ireland teams, losing finalists in the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Nations Cup tournaments respectively. Strangely enough a decade on, all four of the players involved in this year’s revived World Cup were involved back then as Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens, Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien bid to make it through to the quarter-finals.

Are any of the remaining three countries equipped to cause an upset? If any then Germany would probably be the most obvious, Patrick Einsle having been on the main tour twice so far during his career while Lasse Munstermann has been a regular on the amateur circuit during recent years.

Pakistan and Egypt too have capable amateur players but Wales and Ireland have to be favoured here with the quality and experience of their teams.

Group B

Thailand 1

With 2009 Grand Prix finalists Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui heading their respective nations in Group B, China and Australia will begin as favourites to progress but with some other very experienced teams here, an upset could be on the cards. Indeed with Chinese number two Liang Wenbo having hardly won a match for a year while Neil’s number two Steve Mifsud has not been on the main tour since the 2007/8 campaign.

Who could step in? The Thailand 1 team is headed by number one player James Wattana and will have the added advantage of being on home soil, something that helped their amateur players during the 2007 IBSF World Championship when Atthasit Mahitthi and Passakorn Suwannawat both made it to the final. What of number two Dechawat Poomjaeng? To me I must confess that he is something of an unknown quantity, but having won the 2010 IBSF competition, he should not be underestimated.

Malta’s team meanwhile is full of experience, Tony Drago and Alex Borg both veterans of over 20 years and should not be overawed. The fact that the tournament is over a relatively short format may also be something of an advantage for a team that might not be so consistent over the longer matches…

Could well be an upset here.

Group C
Northern Ireland

As is the case with Group A, Group C sees two clear favourites to progress in the shape of England and Northern Ireland, teams that between them house three top 16 players as well as established top 32 player Gerard Greene.

Both India and Belgium though will be worth keeping an eye on, both possessing capable teams with tour wildcard Luca Brecel in particular being a point of fascination for the neutrals.

With regards to Brazil it remains to be seen who will be partnering Itaro Santos in the team…

Group D
Thailand 2
Hong Kong

Finally Group D sees Scotland, the last winners of the Nations Cup back in 2001, joined by Hong Kong who are the second seeded team in the group. This based largely upon team leader Marco Fu however, there could be an opportunity here for the Thailand 2 team made up of Passakorn Suwannawat and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to impress in front of their home crowd.

Poland meanwhile will be represented by the tour’s youngest ever pro Kacper Filipiak who will be making his TV début in the competition.