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Ranking Snooker Championship cues off today


August 5, 2018

KARACHI: As many as 40 cueists, instead of the customary 32, will be participating in the 10th edition of the NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2018 which gets underway here at the NBP Sports Complex in Clifton on Sunday (today).

Accepting the demands of the country’s top-performing cueists, the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) enhanced the number of entries, prize money and daily allowance for the participants.

Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Bilal, Babar Masih, Muhammad Majid Ali, Muhammad Ahsan Javaid and Ali Haider are the six-seeded cueists from the province of Punjab while the other two seeds Sultan Muhammad and Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir hail from the host province of Sindh.

The 40 participants have been divided equally into eight groups for the preliminary rounds whose matches will be spread over five days. The winner and the runner-up from each group will qualify for the knockout rounds, starting with the pre-quarter-finals.

Top-seeded Muhammad Asif (Pjb), Agha Bilawal (Sindh), Rashid Mahmood Abbasi (Isb), Ian Mark John (Sindh) and Sirbuland Khan (KPK) are drawn in Group A while Group B comprises second seed Muhammad Bilal (Pjb), Shahid Aftab (Pjb), Khurram Hussain Agha (Sindh), Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb) and Shaikh Muhammad Mudassir (Pjb).

Group C contains Babar Masih (Pjb), Sohail Shahzad (Sindh), Muhammad Ijaz (Pjb), Muhammad Umar (Pjb) and Imran Shahzad (Pjb) while Group D features fourth seed Muhammad Majid Ali (Pjb), Qadeer Abbas (Pjb), Aamir Sohail (KPK), Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb) and Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb).

Group E is composed of fifth seed Muhammad Ahsan Javaid (Pjb), Aakash Rafique (KPK), Muhammad Imran (KPK), Muhammad Faizan (Sindh) and Umair Alam (Sindh) while the quintet of sixth seed Sultan Muhammad (Sindh), Muhammad Naseem Akhtar (Pjb), Rambail Gul (KPK), Muhammad Asif Toba (Pjb) and Abdullah (KPK) constitute Group F.

Seventh seed Ali Haider (Pjb) leads the pack in Group G in the company of Asjad Iqbal (Pjb), Mubashir Raza (Pjb), Haris Tahir (Pjb), Abdul Javaid (Pjb) while Group H has the presence of eighth seed Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir (Sindh), Abdul Sattar (Sindh), Farhan Noor (Pjb), Usman Ahmad (Pjb) and Sharjeel Mahmood (KPK).

The league matches will be best-of-seven-frame contests. The quarter-finals will be best-of-nine-frame matches, the semi-finals best-of-11-frame, and the final best-of-15-frame.

The semi-finals and the final will be telecast live on Geo Super, the premier sports television channel of the country.

Today’s fixtures:

Muhammad Asif (Pjb) v Sirbuland Khan (KPK); Muhammad Bilal (Pjb) v Shaikh Mudassir (Pjb); Babar Masih (Pjb) v Imran Shahzad (Pjb); Muhammad Majid Ali (Pjb) v Muhammad Shahbaz (Pjb); Muhammad Ahsan Javaid (Pjb) v Umair Alam (Sindh); Sultan Muhammad (Sindh) v Abdullah (KPK); Ali Haider (Pjb) v Abdul Javaid (Pjb); Zulfiqar Qadir (Sindh) v Sharjeel Mahmood (KPK); Agha Bilawal (Sindh) v Ian Mark John (Sindh); Shahid Aftab (Pjb) v Muhammad Sajjad (Pjb); Sohail Shahzad (Sindh) v Muhammad Umar (Pjb) Qadeer Abbas (Pjb) v Musaddiq Mahmood (Isb); Aakash Rafique (KPK) v Muhammad Faizan (Sindh); Muhammad Naseem Akhtar (Pjb) v Asif Toba (Pjb); Asjad Iqbal (Pjb) v Haris Tahir (Pjb); Abdul Sattar (Sindh) v Usman Ahmad (Pjb)

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