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November 28, 2018

World Snooker Championship: Valika disappointed by Pak cueists’ early exit


November 28, 2018

KARACHI: Ali Asghar Valika, the chairman of the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), has regretted the early exit of Pakistan’s cueists in the IBSF World Snooker Championship 2018 being staged in Yangon, Myanmar.

“The kind of form our top three cueists, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Bilal and Babar Masih, were in I reckoned that it was Pakistan’s best chance in years to reclaim the world crown which has been missed sadly,” he said during a chat with ‘The News’ here at the Karachi Club on Tuesday.

“Asif, who perished in quarter-finals, missed a golden opportunity of winning the world title for the second time. He was in tremendous form and I was quite confident about him bringing home the world title once more. But he couldn’t go the distance,” Valika said.

“I am not sure if Asif will get another chance like this. He will have to work hard in the national tournaments to be able to earn the right to contest the World Championship again,” the PBSA chairman said.

Valika, who headed the Asian Confederation of Billiards Sports (ACBS) for six years, agreed that the rising standard of snooker in China was instrumental in denying Pakistan another world title as Chang Bingyu brought out the demise of both Bilal and Asif in successive matches of knockout rounds.

“The Chinese cueists have improved a lot over the years and indeed Chang Bingyu’s brilliance hurt Pakistan badly in this tournament. He has been playing exceptionally well and he could well be the champion this time,” the PBSA chairman said.

He agreed that the absence of a qualified coach was one of the major factors behind Pakistan’s cueists getting eliminated in the knockout rounds of many tournaments after promising starts. “There is no dearth of snooker talent in our country. But our cueists need guidance to earn glories at the highest level. Hopefully the management of the PBSA will look into these issues for achieving better results in future,” Valika said.

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