August 18, 2014

India’s participation boosts twin Asian events in Pakistan


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The twin Asian snooker events, having started in the port city of Karachi on August 17, received a massive boost with the participation of the Indian cueists, who were issued visas at the eleventh hour.

Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, President, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), didn’t mince words in stating they were mighty relieved with the participation of the Indian cueists, who will also be the defending champions in the team event. 

The Jubilee Insurance 2nd Asian Team Event and the Jubilee Insurance 3rd 6-Red Snooker Championship 2014, being sponsored by the Jubilee Insurance Group, are being held at Hotel Avari Towers from August 17 to 23. They are offering lucrative prize money of US$23,625. 

The Asian Team Event carries prize money of US$14,250 while the 6-Reds tourney will have US$9,375 at stake. “Certainly the presence of India has made a huge difference. They have elevated the profile of the tournament. The Indians have played here in the past as well and they have been quite popular visitors. It’s very heartening to host them again,” he stated. 

“The contingents of Saudi Arabia, Nepal and Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) pulled out at the eleventh hour but we are happy to have as many as 11 countries being represented in the twin events,” Alamgir Shaikh remarked. 

Besides hosts Pakistan, the 10 countries taking part in the twin events are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Palestine, Qatar, Singapore, Syria and Thailand. The PBSA had extended the invitation to all the 35 member countries of the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS). 

Having staged a continental event here only last year, the organizers were confident of getting participation from around 25 countries this time but they may have to be content with 11 countries only. 

Meanwhile Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee General Insurance, during his speech in media launch, announced additional cash prizes for the Pakistani cueists taking part in the back to back events. He paid glowing tribute to the young cueists for having earned glories for the countries during the last years, urging them to carry on their excellent work at the table. 

Javed Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee Life Insurance, commended the rise in the standard of snooker in Pakistan and hoped that the journey will continue with the coordination of all the stakeholders. He vowed to further support cue sports and looked forward to sponsoring the World Snooker Championship in Pakistan in 2016. 

Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Commissioner, Karachi, assured the PBSA of the total support of the local administration in providing the security to the foreign cueists and delegates during their stay in the city. 

Jahangir Khan, a living legend of squash, reckoned that the soft image of the country will improve greatly by hosting the twin events. He encouraged Pakistan’s cueists, who were present on the occasion, and advised them to take advantage of the home conditions and do better than what they did in the past. 

“You should try to win both these events which will give you more confidence when you play abroad in future. You have done well in the recent years. Now try to capitalize by sustaining the momentum,” he emphasized. 


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