History in the making: Akbar prepped up for world championship

Youngster to become first Pakistani to feature in World Professional Snooker Championship

Our Correspondent April 05, 2016
Akbar became the only player from Pakistan to feature in the professional circuit and will now set the record of becoming the first Pakistani to feature in the World Professional Snooker Championship. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Hamza Akbar will become the first Pakistani cueist to participate in the World Professional Snooker Championship when he takes on Wales’ Jamie Jones in the qualifying round today.

The 22-year-old has been playing in the professional circuit for a few months now but this would be the biggest challenge he has had to face and Akbar is keen to make his presence felt.

“It seems like a dream come true to be able to participate in the Professional World Snooker Championship,” Akbar told The Express Tribune. “As a kid you just want to play the game but then with time the dream changed. I wanted to play in the professional circuit; l achieved that. Now I am on the verge of becoming the first Pakistani to play at the world championships. It’s a proud moment.”

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While the feat is commendable, it hasn’t been an easy ride for the youngster as he has continuously struggled financially after not getting much support from the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and even missed three tournaments on the circuit because of visa issues.

However, those troubles are in the past now and Akbar is looking to make the country proud with his performances in the world event.

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“I’m very happy because it isn’t only a big occasion for me but it’s a big stage for Pakistan too. I need the prayers of all my fans and those who have backed me,” he added. “I would like to take up this opportunity to thank my department NBP and the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association.”

The Faisalabad-based player said that he will give his all to ensure he goes through the main round and will try to vie for the honours. “It’s important to dream big and then work hard to achieve them,” said Akbar. “I’m doing the same and hopefully I would be able to do something significant after getting this big opportunity in my career.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.

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