FOUR of Bahrain's best cueists will today make their debut in the World Professional Championship qualifiers, to be held at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, UK.
Habib Subah, Mohammed Al Shaikh, Omar Asheq and Hussain Mahmood, who arrived in the UK recently, are among more than 100 players in the fray from all around the globe.
Subah, Bahrain's No 1, will begin his campaign tonight against Justin Astley of England at 7pm (Bahrain time). Mahmood plays another Englishman Sachin Plaha earlier today at 1pm.
The remaining two are due to play tomorrow when Al Shaikh take on Greg Batten, one of England's most improving cueists, at 7pm while Asheq has received a bye into the second round where he will play the winner of the match between Britons Neck Jennings and Charlie Walters.
The four Bahrainis were seen off by Bahrain Billiards and Snooker Federation president Shaikh Abdulla bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, who wished them success.
"Our players' participation in the professional qualifying competition is a new experience and a major step forward," said Shaikh Abdulla.
"This prestigious event will be a key factor in the Bahraini players' bid to reach higher standards.
"We also made arrangements with professional coach Chris Henry to prepare an ideal training environment in Belgium just before the team's participation in the GCC Championship in Kuwait in November," explained Shaikh Abdulla.
Shaikh Abdulla thanked the advisor for Industry and Oil Affairs to His Royal Highness the Prime Minister at the Prime Minister's Court Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa for sponsoring the players' trip to Sheffield, and hoped for this support to continue in future.