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Pakistan producing fantastic cueists: IBSF vice-president

KARACHI (Neo Web Desk) The International Billiards and Snooker Federation (IBSF) vice-president Maxime Cassis, who is also the President of the European Billiards and Snooker Association (EBSA) said Pakistan is producing fantastic snooker players who are making waves in the global competitions.“Having produced two world champions in Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif, Pakistan players are showing consistent run by reaching either final, semi-finals or quarter-finals in various events,” he told a crowded press conference held to unveil details of the 18-nation third Jubilee Insurance World 6-Reds and Team Championships at hotel Movenpick on Tuesday.“Pakistan is a country of snooker,” said the IBSF official, who arrived on Tuesday morning from Paris on his second visit to the country while acknowledging the country’s role in the cue sport.He added that it has been 22 years since the last IBSF world snooker championship took place in Pakistan in 1993.Paying rich tributes to Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) president Alamgir Shaikh, the official said hosting of the event had become reality because of him (Alamgir).He also applauded the role of sponsors, the management of the hotel and the media.Tournament director Joseph Lo, who also arrived from Hong Kong on Tuesday, was also present.Speaking on the occasion, Karachi commissioner Shoaib Siddiqui said it’s a good omen that the world snooker event is taking place in the city.He hoped the foreign players and officials will enjoy their stay in the metropolis and carry home happy memories with them.The commissioner holding additional charge of the KMC Administrator offered helping hand to the game’s controlling body of the country in building snooker academy on the plot that has been allotted to them in the city sometime back.He said a befitting civic reception will be held in honour of the visiting players and officials of the mega snooker event.Tahir Ahmed of the Jubilee Insurance reiterated his stance to launch an under-18 snooker event aimed at catching young players.He hoped when launched six to eight players will emulate Hamza’s feat and qualify to play pro-circuit in the days to come.Javed Ahmed, also of the Jubilee Insurance, hoped Pakistan team will give Independence Day gift to the nation by winning laurels.At the outset, Alamgir said that the Indian players have got the visas on Tuesday morning and will arrive on Thursday.Responding to a question, he said he didn’t know why Thailand is not coming in the event.“There might be some problem,” he remarked.He said prize money of US $ 19,500 was at stake in the event. According to the break-up, the men’s 6-Reds winner will get US $ 8,000 while women’s champion will receive US $ 3,000.Similarly, US $ 6,000 has been set aside for men’s team event champion while the winners of masters will earn US $ 2,500.Indian celebrity Pankaj Advani, who was shocked by Hamza in the final of the Asian event at Kuala Lumpur recently, is part of the Indian team and will defend his title.Hong Kong will defend its men’s team event title.The 6-Reds women’s and masters team event will throw new champions in the absence of Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan (Thailand) and Wales team respectively.Also present on the occasion among others were PBSF officials Jawaid H. Karim and Munawwar Hussain Shaikh besides chief executive officer of Arabian Sea Enterprise Sikandar Mahmood.

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