February 7, 2018

Snooker Nationals 2018 from Feb 12


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

As many as 52 cueists from all over the country will be taking part in the Jubilee Insurance 43rd National Snooker Championship 2018 which is scheduled to get underway at the Karachi Gymkhana early on February 12.

The details about the upcoming 10-day event, which will conclude February 21, were shared by Munawwar Hussain Shaikh, President, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), and Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee Insurance. Akbar Iqbal Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, was also present on the occasion.

“After having successfully organized both the national junior tournaments in Islamabad and the National Masters in Lahore we are all set to host the Nationals 2018 with the usual enthusiasm and intensity,” the PBSA President observed. 

“As far as the breakup of the 52 participants is concerned, the top 12 ranked cueists of the last year have been granted direct entry, eight cueists each have qualified from the provincial cups of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), six and three from the Balochistan Cup and the Islamabad Cup respectively alongwith four top junior cueists and three are wild card entries,” he revealed. 

The PBSA, in accordance with laid down procedures, has granted wild cards to Imran Shahzad, who recently defended his National Masters title successfully, Asif Toba and Muhammad Majid Ali, all of them from Punjab. 

The participating cueists have been divided in eight groups for the preliminary rounds at the end of which the top two cueists from each group will advance to the knockout phase starting with the pre-quarter-finals. 

The total prize money in the Nationals 2018 will be Rs 272,000 with the winner to collect Rs 100,000 and the runner-up to get Rs 50,000. The losing semifinalists will be receiving Rs 20,000 each while the losing quarter-finalists and the losing pre-quarter-finalists will be compensated with Rs 10,000 each and Rs 4,000 each respectively. The highest break award will earn a purse of Rs 10,000 while every century break will be rewarded with an additional award of Rs 2,000. 

Speaking on the occasion, Tahir Ahmed, Managing Director, Jubilee General Insurance, expressed his delight at the emergence of so many talented youngsters who have earned laurels for the country in the recent past. 

Akbar Puri, President, Karachi Gymkhana, a son of Mazhar Iqbal Puri, who had spearheaded the revival of snooker in Pakistan in the 1980s, vowed to continue supporting all sports as the club was proud of its sporting history. He assured cooperation to the PBSA in holding more snooker events in future.

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