Snooker: Kiwi players seek increased investment to compete on world circuit

The 2023 Asia Pacific Snooker Championships in Auckland offers Kiwis the chance to get on the world tour, but a lack of investment so far has left our players far behind their international rivals. 

"We've got a lot of boys coming in from Asia, one from England, we've got Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, so a good cross-section of players," Asia Pacific Snooker & Billiards president Frank Dewens told Newshub. 

The winner gets a two-year spot on the world circuit, which currently features no Kiwis. 

"The standard between China, Hong Kong and New Zealand is just huge," said NZ player Matthew Scarborough. "We just don't get to play players of that quality very often." 

The NZ Billiards & Snooker Association has tried to close that gap and hopes new tables worth more than $50,000 will help. 

Kiwis are playing and training on much older ones, making their job harder once they compete overseas. 

"This is a great opportunity for our players here that they can practice on these tables, win a tournament on here, go to England and not have to adapt too much to the conditions," said Dewens.  

Despite this, the guests aren't taking them lightly. 

"They have a different style, but they're decent, they're shrewd, they can hold a cue, they can play and they're a threat for anybody," said England player Peter Devlin. 

The tournament wraps up Monday and whether a Kiwi sinks the last ball or not, many hope the investment will continue, so New Zealanders can take on the world.