November 30, 2013

Hakimuddin Sadiq Gold Cup revives Karachi Club’s golden status in snooker


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Karachi Club, as an institution, has played the most significant role in taking snooker where it stands today in Pakistan. It remained the virtual headquarters of the controlling body of cue sports in the country for a number of years. 

Sadly, however, the Karachi Club and the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) have had sour relationship during the last few years. The gulf has only widened following the gold trophy episode. The worst sufferer has been the sport itself and the tournament as prestigious as the Latif Masters has not been staged for more than five years. It used to be the fourth and final national ranking event to be contested by only the top cueists of the country. 

The clash of personalities and the differences in opinion on both sides have deprived the country of the tournament which was instituted in the memory of the legendary Latif Amir Bakhsh, who died young. 

While the PBSA has staged its national ranking tournaments at different other venues of Karachi, from commercial parlours to five-star hotels, the Karachi Club has had to restrict itself to intra-club snooker activities. 

But the Karachi Club, lately, has shown the eagerness to revive snooker activities on a bigger scale and the renovated Amir Bakhsh Billiards Hall has been buzzing with competitive events its more.

A grand concluding ceremony was held on November 28 to celebrate the successful hosting of the 2nd KC Hakimuddin Sadiq Gold Cup Team Event Snooker Tournament 2013 which was clinched by quintet of Vishan Gir, Shahid Yaqoob, Ashok Kumar, Salman Qasmani and Ovais Mian Noor, having played by the name of A-1.

In the finals, A-1 overcame D-2 after a grim six-frame battle which the former won 4-2. Vishan Gir’s outfit managed to overcome Aneel Bherwani’s side, also having Shahid Dhehdi, Azhar Dawra, Zohaib Haroon and Saad Munaf.

The club’s President, Ashfaq Yousuf Tola, and Honorary Secretary, Jawed H Karim, both of them having rich background of sports, were the guests of honour in the prize distribution ceremony held soon after the conclusion of the final.

The winning team, captained by Vishan Gir, who has been among the leading cueists of the country for a number of years, received a cash award of Rs 25,000 while the runner-up side D-2, led by Aneel Bherwani, a former Pakistan number two, got a purse of Rs 15,000.

The losing semifinalists C-1 and C-4, skippered by Asim Ghani and Dilip Perwani respectively, was presented Rs 10,000 each while the losing quarter-finalists B-1, D-3, B-3 and A-3, captained by Farhan Idrees, Rizwan Jumbo, Zeeshan Merchant and Imran Meghani respectively, were compensated with Rs 5,000 each.

Vishan Gir also received a special prize for having registered the highest break of 54, with Abdul Ghaffar, Ovais Mian Noor and Umair Idrees being the next highest scorers. The 11-day tournament, which started on November 18, was contested by a total of 14 teams who were divided in four groups. There were four cueists each in the Groups A and B while there were three each in the Groups C and D.

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