World Cup Rankings Race

Amongst all of the rankings discussion for top 16 places, the world number one spot and so on, one aspect of it that had not dawned on me until Ali Carter mentioned it earlier on today is the fact that some players will be battling it out for places at this summer’s revived World Cup…

As announced recently by World Snooker (see here), this summer will see the return of the Snooker World Cup as 20 two-man teams will battle it out between 11th-17 July in Thailand.

What that means therefore is that there are a couple of interesting battles in the rankings going on this week, primarily between Ali and Shaun Murphy who currently sitting in 6th and 7th places respectively are fighting for the second England spot alongside Mark Selby. With a 75 point lead at present, if Ali can match Shaun’s result here in Sheffield then he will be safe, Murphy therefore needing to go a round further than Carter if he is to do it.

The other obvious battle is between Stephen Maguire and Graeme Dott for the second Scotland spot alongside John Higgins. While many rankings calculations are complex however, this is simple as Graeme must simply win the tournament else Stephen will be heading to Thailand instead.

Otherwise the teams on paper appear to be fairly fixed, Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens  two two leading Welsh representatives (some things never change do they?), Mark Allen and Gerard Greene flying the flag for Northern Ireland, Ken Doherty and Fergal O’Brien for the Republic of Ireland and so on.

Hopefully the pairings and indeed the 20 teams competing will soon be confirmed…