August 4, 2018

NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2018 offers enhanced purse


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A total of 40 cueists, instead of the customary 32, will be participating in 10th edition of NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2018 getting underway at the NBP Sports Complex in Clifton, Karachi, on August 5. 

The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA), accepting the demands of the country’s top performing cueists, has enhanced the number of entries, the prize money and the daily allowance for the participants. 

The total prize money in the nine-day championship, being sponsored by National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for the 10th year running, has been raised to Rs 185,000. The daily allowance for the each participant will now be Rs 2,500 per day instead of Rs 2,000. 

The winner of the event will now be getting Rs one lac instead of Rs 60,000 while the runner-up will receive Rs 40,000 with the losing semifinals and the losing quarter-finalists getting Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 each respectively. The highest break award will earn a purse of Rs 5,000. 

Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Bilal, Babar Masih, Muhammad Majid Ali, Muhammad Ahsan Javaid and Ali Haider are the six seeded cueists from the province of Punjab while the other two seeds Sultan Muhammad and Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir hail from the host province of Sindh. 

The 40 participants have been divided equally in eight groups for the preliminary rounds whose matches will be spread over five days. The winner and the runner-up of each group will qualify for the knockout rounds, starting with the pre-quarter-finals. 

Top seeded Muhammad Asif (Pjb), Agha Bilawal (Sindh), Rashid Mahmood Abbasi (Isb), Ian Mark John (Sindh) and Sirbuland Khan (KPK) are drawn in the Group A while the Group B comprises of second seed Muhammad Bilal (Pjb), Shahid Aftab (Pjb), Khurram Hussain Agha (Sindh), Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb)and Shaikh Muhammad Mudassir (Pjb). 

The Group C contains Babar Masih (Pjb), Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) Muhammad Ijaz (Pjb), Muhammad Umar (Pjb) and Imran Shahzad (Pjb) while the Group D features fourth seed Muhammad Majid Ali (Pjb), Qadeer Abbas (Pjb), Aamir Sohail (KPK), Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb) and Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb). 

The Group E is composed of fifth seed Muhammad Ahsan Javaid (Pjb), Aakash Rafique (KPK), Muhammad Imran (KPK), Muhammad Faizan (Sindh) and Umair Alam (Sindh) while the quintet of sixth seed Sultan Muhammad (Sindh), Muhammad Naseem Akhtar (Pjb), Rambail Gul (KPK), Muhammad Asif Toba (Pjb) and Abdullah (KPK) constitute the Group F. 

Seventh seed Ali Haider (Pjb) leads the pack in the Group G in the company Asjad Iqbal (Pjb), Mubashir Raza (Pjb), Haris Tahir (Pjb), Abdul Javaid (Pjb) while the Group H has the presence of eighth seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir (Sindh), Abdul Sattar (Sindh), Farhan Noor (Pjb), Usman Ahmad (Pjb) and Sharjeel Mahmood (KPK). 

The league matches will continue to be best-of-seven-frame contests. The quarter-finals will be of best-of-nine-frame matches; the semi-finals best-of-11-frame; and the final best-of-15-frame. As in the past, the semi-finals and the final will be telecast live on Geo Super.


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