KARACHI: One of the country’s top all-round cueists, Shahram Changezi, has continued making great strides in pool at international level as he returned recently after having participated in the UK Open 9-Ball Pool Championship 2002 which was organised at the Copper box Arena in London.
Talking to ‘The News’ from Islamabad on Wednesday, Shahram considered his own performance as above average in the prestigious UK Open in which he was the lone representative from Pakistan among 256 contestants. He was also the solitary entrant from the country in the US Open 9-Ball Pool Championship 2021 staged at the Atlantic City, USA, last September.
The only Pakistani cueist to have won three international accredited medals besides taking part in quite a few global events, Shahram feels that pool has tremendous potential and the sport can take off in Pakistan.
“Cue sports comprises billiards, carom, snooker and pool which is gaining global popularity day by day. The Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) used to organise billiards tournaments in the past but lately they have been concentrating on snooker only. They can assess the possibilities of promoting this exponent of cue sports as well,” he pointed out.
In reply to a question, Shahram said that 9-Ball Pool was being played around the world and remained one of the fastest growing exponents of cue sports.
“There are numerous pool events taking place throughout the year around the world. The World Cup of Pool is the most prestigious pool event organised once a year and the top 32 nations of the world participate in this event. Two players from each country team up and participate in World Cup of Pool as a team,” he shared.
“Unfortunately, there is no pool event organised in Pakistan, neither by the PBSA nor by private club owners. My aim is to make this game important like snooker in Pakistan,” he revealed.
“To qualify for World Cup of Pool, I want one more player like me who is actively playing pool events globally. My ultimate goal is to participate in World Cup of Pool and eventually winning the title. Hopefully the PBSA will start organising local pool events to find the talent to team up with me for World Cup of Pool,” Shahram, currently participating in international pool events on self-help basis, stated.
“Sports, we all know, is a trillion dollar industry which can change the economic condition of any country. Usain Bolt has become a factor for Jamaica’s tourism. Sports heroes in Pakistan can have substantial positive impact on Pakistan’s economy if we invest in professional sports,” he said.