KARACHI: The Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) is displeased with the lacklustre performances by Pakistani cueists in the Asian Snooker Championship, as none of the players progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Mohammad Asif Toba crashed out of the quarter-finals, while Asjad Iqbal lost his last-16 match. The third Pakistani participant, Hamza Akbar, was beaten by compatriot Asjad in their last-32 showdown.
The losses came as a surprise, since the cueists had been doing well for the last two years in all categories at various international championships.
The likes of former world champion Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sajjad and youngster Majid Ali have performed admirably for the country in recent times, but the performance by fellow compatriots in the Asian Championship have left a lot to be desired.
“We’re disappointed with the performances of our cueists in the Asian Championship,” PBSA Secretary Munawwar Sheikh told The Express Tribune.
“We were expecting a better show because all of them have proven their ability time and again. Iqbal and Hamza are promising players, but they exited the event even before Toba, so that was not what we expected from the young guns.”
Munawwar added that PBSA President Alamgir Sheikh, who witnessed the tournament, also felt that Iqbal lost an easy match despite leading by two frames initially. The president also noted that the overall competition was hardly intense this time around and he had expected one of Pakistan’s players to reach at least the semi-finals of the tournament.
The official further said that the federation’s focus has now turned to the World U21 Championship, which will be played from May 10.
“We are concentrating on the World U21 Championship next. We hope Majid and Akbar will do well in that tournament,” he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2014.