By Syed Khalid Mahmood
Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee General Insurance, has announced that his company, having become the major sponsors of snooker in Pakistan for the last five years, was willing to support the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) in holding international snooker competitions in the country in future
Speaking as the chief guest in the prize distribution ceremony of the Jubilee Insurance 7-Nation International Snooker Championship 2012, at Hotel Pearl Continental on March 9, he expressed his delight at the revival of international snooker in the country and offered sponsorship support to the PBSA in hosting future events.
He delivered a crisp and compact speech on the occasion in which he briefly threw light on all aspects of the game, mentioned the ingredients of a successful event.
Tahir Ahmed, along Javed Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee Life Insurance, presented a purse of US$2,000 alongwith the winner’s trophy to Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh was awarded while runner-up Hossein Vafaei Ayouri of Iran collected a reward of US$1,000. Mohammad Asif of Pakistan clinched the prize of US$100 for registering the highest break of the six-day championship.
Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, President, PBSA, took his time in the welcome address making a mention of people who had extended support to him in organizing the event. While seeking the affiliation of the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) without further delay, he thanked the old friends of the sport as well, making a special mention of S M Muneer, Shahid Ahmad Khan and Aqeel Karim Dhedi.
He also announced that his association planned to bid for the next year’s Asian Snooker Championship.
Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan, President, POA, stated on the occasion that the PBSA would be granted affiliation of the national Olympic body soon, upon the completion of some formalities.
Mohammad El Kammah, Secretary General, International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) and President, Egyptian Billiards & Snooker Association (EBSA), expressed the hope that Pakistan would be able to play host to the Asian Championship as well as the World Championship in not too distant future.
S M Muneer, a former President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), who played a key role in facilitating the participation of the Indian cueists in the championship by pursuing the matter with the Interior Ministry, was confident that international sports events will now be organized on a regular basis in the country.
Shahid Ahmad Khan, who was one of the architects of bringing international snooker to Pakistan with the mega events like the Asian Championship in 1991 and the World Championship in 1993, was recognized by the PBSA for his contributions.
There were far too many speeches and the presentation of souvenirs in the crowded ceremony that lasted more than half an hour. It was also being telecast live and there were quite a few organizers and socialites queued up around the arena.