Pakistan News

Top cueist Hamza Akbar to join British professional circuit

Top cueist  Hamza Akbar  to join British professional circuit

KARACHI: Reigning Asian snooker champion Hamza Akbar will become the first Pakistani ever to make his mark in the British professional circuit later this month.

“I’ve got the visa of UK and hopefully get the Schengen visa by the end of next week,” he told Dawn from his home town Faisalabad on Friday.

The 21-year-old two-time national champion Hamza said he will apply for Schengen visa on Monday and is likely to get it in four to five days.

“If all goes well, I will fly to London on Sept 20 or 21, a week before making my debut in the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) international event which cues off on Sept 29,” he added.

Presently ranked No 1 in the domestic circuit, Hamza said after reaching London he will get enough time to complete formalities and acclimatise with the conditions. “I’ve spent a major chunk of my prize money to materialise the trip and stay abroad as I haven’t had any financial help from the government so far,” he said dejectedly.

Hamza added that his family has supported and encouraged him to go and play the pro-circuit for the country.

To a question, he said the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) have helped him a lot in getting some cash awards from the private sector.

Hamza shocked Indian celebrity Pankaj Advani 7-6 in the best of 13 frames final of the 31st Asian Snooker Championship held at Kuala Lumpur in April this year.

It is pertinent to mention that England-based Pakistani Shoukat Ali had also featured in the pro-circuit in England in the past, although in personal capacity. He also had the honour of representing Pakistan in the Asian Games at Bangkok in 1998 where he fetched a gold medal in the individual snooker event.

Billiards and snooker was inducted in the Asian Games for the first time in 1998.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2015

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