Snooker becomes the latest sports casualty in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on February 14.
Days after the International Olympic Organisation (IOC) revoked two Olympic quotas from the ongoing Shooting World Cup in Delhi over India's denial to issue visas to Pakistani shooters, the India leg of the Asian Snooker Tour has been postponed indefinitely for the same reason.
The 10 Reds Asian Tour Snooker tournament was scheduled to be held in Bengaluru in the last week of March but has been postponed after the organisers failed to guarantee visas for Pakistani cueists.
The Asian Confederation of Billiards Sport (ACBS) decided to postpone the event after India failed to provide a guarantee for issuing visas to the Pakistani players.
"Looking at what was happening with other sporting events in India, we informed the ACBS that visa will be an issue for Pakistani players. So, the ACBS decided to postpone the last leg of the Asian Snooker Tour indefinitely," Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) secretary S Subramaniam told PTI.
"Six out of 24 players are from Pakistan or are Pakistani-origin. They haven't applied for visas but we made ACBS aware of the current situation."
The first two legs of the Asian Snooker Tour were held in Qatar and China. India was supposed to be the last leg of the tour.
The BSFI official, however, said the local organisers of the event, Karnataka State Billiards Association (KSBA), is planning to host another international event without Pakistani players around the same time.
"The KSBA is exploring another international event as they have already approved the budget for the Asian Tour from the state government," Subramaniam said.
A miffed IOC shot off a strongly-worded letter to India, asking for written assurances from the government for smooth entry into the country of all athletes of the participating nations, or else risk losing out on hosting international events.
(With PTI inputs)