Iqbal eyes title defence at ranking championship

25 players have been divided into four groups and only two of them will qualify for the last-eight phase. PHOTO: FILE

25 players have been divided into four groups and only two of them will qualify for the last-eight phase. PHOTO: FILE

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, KARACHI, 19th SEPTEMBER 2013: Asjad Iqbal will have his eyes set on defending his title as the Jubilee Insurance 3rd Ranking Snooker Championship starts tomorrow at the Sheraton Arcade in Karachi.

Imran Shehzad, who will start as the top seed, will be looking to continue his impressive form since the last few tournaments.

Recently, Iqbal had successfully defended his crown in the NBP Ranking Snooker Championship when he defeated IBSF World Champion Mohammad Asif 8-7 in a tense final that went down to the wire. The 22-year-old had displayed nerves of steel and did not show any signs of intimidation playing against a player of Asif’s pedigree.

In total, there will be 25 players who have been divided into four groups and only two of them will qualify for the last-eight phase. The competing cueists will play a best-of-seven match during the group stages.

The winner of the tournament will receive a cash prize of Rs70,000 while the runner-up will pocket Rs40,000. In addition, the losing semi-finalists will be given Rs15,000 each while those who will bow out of the competition in the quarter-final stage will receive Rs5,000 each.

A cash prize of Rs5,000 has also been reserved for the cueists who will hit the highest break of the tournament.

The event will end on September 26.

Focus on juniors as Amin given wildcard

Meanwhile, Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) continued their policy to groom youngsters as Mohsin Amin was awarded a wild card entry to participate in the ranking tournament.

“Our main aim is to groom youngsters which is why they will continue to play in ranking tournaments against top senior players of the country,” a PBSA official told The Express Tribune.

“This is why Mohsin has been given a wild card because he wasn’t a part of the initial line-up, whereas Humza Akbar and Mohammad Majid have already qualified.”

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