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November 10, 2019

Imperious Muhammad Asif reclaims World Snooker crown

Sports

November 10, 2019

KARACHI: Muhammad Asif regained the amateur title when he dispatched Jeffery Rooda of the Philippines in the World Snooker Championship final in the Turkish city of Antalya Saturday.

This was Asif’s second world title after having won it for the first time in Bulgaria seven years ago.

Hailing from Faisalabad, Asif capped the best-of-15-frame win 8-5 in less than five hours with the scores of 68-35, 88-0, 69-17, 28-73, 5-118, 93-0, 69-1, 72-57, 10-93, 77-04, 21-65, 54-66 and 68-51.

“It wasn’t an easy tournament for me. I made my best efforts to win the title for my country and for the people of Kashmir,” the 36-year-old Asif said after his scintillating triumph.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), Ali Asghar Valika, lauded the landmark achievement of Asif and urged for greater governmental support for snooker.

“Asif has made the country proud by winning the world snooker title for the second time. It’s a praiseworthy achievement which has brought to light the rising standard of snooker in Pakistan,” Valika observed here on Saturday while talking to ‘The News’, soon after Asif’s victory.

“It’s about time that the concerned ministry (Inter-Provincial Coordination) and the concerned department (Pakistan Sports Board) approve larger share of grants for the PBSA to let the snooker flourish even more. Similarly, I will urge them to release the outstanding grants of the Association without any further delay,” the PBSA Chairman appealed.

“The government support should be performance-based and those bodies, like the PBSA, who are bringing in glories and medals for the country deserve larger share of grants,” he reckoned.

Asghar Valika, who headed the PBSA for a couple of decades, paid glowing tributes to Asif for his perseverance and grit.

“This man is truly exceptional. He had had his share of ups and downs but he has never shied away from his ultimate goal of earning more laurels for himself and the country. His resilience needs to be applauded,” he stated.

“Today I am also reminded of the day when Muhammad Yousuf became the first Pakistani to win the world crown exactly quarter of a century ago. Being the PBSA President I was there in Johannesburg to watch Yousuf rewrite history. It was an emotional moment for all of us,” he recalled.

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