National snooker event to serve as ‘world cup qualifier’

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 8:09:09 by


With the NBP 39th National Snooker Championship just around the corner, cueists from all over Pakistan will vie for the top two spots in order to qualify for the IBSF World Championship at India in November.

The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) has termed the national championship – commencing from September 10 – a ‘world cup qualifier’. There will be no further qualifying events for the mega tournament in November.

According to PBSA President Alamgir Sheikh, Muhammad Sajjad has already confirmed his place in the world event based on his recent performance. Two other cueists will join him to complete the squad.

“This national championship is of immense importance because the top two players will qualify for the world cup,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune.

“Hopefully all the players will give their best as it is an open chance for them to enter their names for the world championship. I believe this incentive will push the players to perform in a highly competitive manner.”

The official revealed that the association is worried about the performances of Muhammad Asif, who has been unable to maintain the form that had enabled him to win the IBSF World Championship, World Team Championship and Asian 6-Red event in the last two years.

Asif admitted that the non-payment of his cash rewards from the government has served to divert his full focus from the game. However, Sheikh said this should not take be taken as an excuse because the PBSA is trying everything to facilitate the former world champion.

“We aren’t happy with Asif because he is a talented player who can win titles or fight for them,” said the PBSA president. “But in the last several events, he seems to be losing too easily which doesn’t sit well with us.

“He must raise his game and forget about other things.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2014.

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