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January 4, 2015

Players chalk cues, U21 event begins tomorrow


January 4, 2015

KARACHI: The seventh edition of the National Junior Under-21 Snooker championship 2015 will be getting under way here at the Movenpick Hotel on Monday (tomorrow).
The details of the six-day national event, the first of the current year, were revealed by Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) president, here at the Karachi Gymkhana on Saturday.
It was disclosed that a total of 30 cuiests, instead of the customary 32, will be taking part in the championship because of the withdrawal of a couple of entries from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the eleventh hour.
“As in the past, we desired having 32 participants this time too but couldn’t do it because there was not enough life left to accommodate cueists from other provinces following the last minute pullout of two cueists from KP,” the PBSA President informed.
“Although it’s not easy to do it in the under-21 tournaments, we will, however, consider inducting some local cueists if there were more dropouts before the start of the tournament,” he added.
Alamgir spoke about the significance of the junior circuit which has helped boost trails of snooker in Pakistan.
“Hamza Akbar, Asjad Iqbal and Mohammad Majid Ali, all of whom have proved their mettle internationally, are the products of our junior tournaments. They are rated as three of the most promising youngsters in cue sports.
“We look forward to discovering many more future champions from the lot of our teenagers who seem to be having the same kind of talent and passion,” he reckoned.
The participating cueists have been divided in eight groups for the league matches at the end of which top two cueists from each groups will be qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition, starting with the pre-quarter-finals.
The championship carries prize money of Rs130,000 with the winner to take home Rs50,000 and the runner-up to receive Rs25,000.
The losing semi-finalists will be taking away Rs15,000

each while the losing quarter-finalists will be given Rs5,000 each. The highest break award offers a purse of Rs5,000.
Besides the cash rewards, there will be added incentives for the top performers as well. Both the finalists of the event will earn the right to represent the country in the Asian under-21 Championship 2015 to be staged in China in April. They will also qualify for World Under-21 Championship to be held in the second half of the year.
Further, all the four semi-finalists of the upcoming event will be entitled to appear in all the four national ranking tournaments of the year.

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