April 17, 2013

No place for wonder boy Majid Ali in Pakistan’s Asian snooker squad


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The training and conditioning camp for Pakistan’s eight-member national squad, due to participate in the upcoming Jubilee Insurance 29th Asian Snooker Championship 2013, is in progress at the Khurram Agha Snooker Club in Karachi but there’s no place for wonder boy Mohammad Majid Ali, could not force his way in the elite list. 


Majid Ali, who went down fighting against Noppon Saengkham of Thailand in a thrilling final of the 14th Asian Under-21 Snooker Championship 2013 in the Indian town of Indore earlier this month, didn’t qualify for the Asian tourney being held in his home country because of the national federation’s decision to stick to the conventional system of going by the ranks rather than the talents or the form of the cueists. 

Although the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Federation (PBSF) has dared making changes in the traditional formats even at the cost of annoying some of the senior cueists, the officials have yet not mustered the courage to revising the selection criterion. 

It’s very tragic indeed that Majid Ali, having emerged as one of the top junior cueists of the country, will not be able to take part in the Asian Championship at a time when he’s in spectacular form. Isn’t it a pity that the lesser mortals will be allowed entry in the tournament only because they secured higher position than him in the last edition of the National Championship? 

The PBSF must rethink their strategy for future and they must not limit themselves by sticking to rules which were drafted in the period when the game was in fancy and idea seemed to inclined towards protect a few experienced fellows. 

Meanwhile eight-member Pakistan squad for the upcoming Asian Championship, to be staged at the Sheraton Karachi Hotel from April 27 to May 3, comprised of Mohammad Asif, Hamza Akbar, Imran Shahzad, Mohammad Sajjad, Abdul Sattar, Babar Masih, Shahid Aftab and Abu Saim. 

They are receiving camp training in Karachi since April 15. The camp will continue without a break for the next 10 days and the training would be held daily from 10 am to 4 pm. 

“The camp will wind up on April 24. It will also continue on Sunday to let the cueists train as hard as possible,” camp commandant, Naved Kapadia, who is also the federation’s Tournament Director, revealed. 

He clarified that the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) has a practice of allowing only six entries, not eight, to the host nation in every edition of the Asian Snooker Championship. 

“Mohammad Asif has earned a slot by virtue of being the world champion while Hamza Akbar, Imran Shahzad, Mohammad Sajjad, Abdul Sattar, Babar Masih and Shahid Aftab, the top six cueists in the national ranking chart, have been provided the opportunity to represent the country in the Asian event,” he explained. 

“The PBSF has approached the ACBS to let another cueist from Pakistan be granted an entry as a special case. That’s why Abu Saim has been added to the squad as a stand-by. He will only be able to play if the Federation was allowed an additional entry,” Naved Kapadia concluded.

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