KARACHI: Muhammad Ijaz has climbed 17 places in the national snooker rankings after winning the recently held NBP Ranking Cup Snooker Championship.
According to the latest ranking chart announced by Naved Kapadia, Tournament Director, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), here on Thursday, Ijaz jumped from the 22nd position to the fifth spot.
Babar Masih, who was edged out by Ijaz in an epic final, also gained some ground. He rose to the second position from the third. Muhammad Asif, who was knocked over by the eventual champion in the semi-finals, retained the number one ranking, while Majid Ali, the other losing semi-finalist, moved up from the fourth spot to the third.
Muhammad Bilal, who was eliminated in the quarter-finals, slipped to the fourth position from the second place. Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir, one of the other losing quarter-finalists, progressed to the sixth position from the eighth.
Aakash Rafique improved his rankings following his qualification for the quarter-finals. He occupies seventh place in the national ranking chart, having started the tourney at 12th position.Asjad Iqbal failed to defend his NBP Ranking Cup title but gained a couple of places by having made it to the quarter-finals.
He went up to the eighth place from number 10.Not surprisingly, six of the top eight cueists hail from Punjab, which has produced numerous outstanding exponents of the game. Zulfiqar is the lone cueist from Sindh in the elite list which also features Aakash of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Sindh has greater representation in the rankings between 9 and 12 as local boys Sultan Muhammad (9th), Khurram Hussain Agha (11th) and Sohail Shahzad (12th) have become automatic qualifiers for the next national event due to be held next month.Rambail Gul (10th) and Sharjeel Mahmood (15th) are the two other cueists from KP in the top 16. Shahid Aftab (13th), Ahsan Javaid (14th) and Asif Toba (16th) are also in this list.