Valika seeks greater govt support for snooker: Asif regains World Snooker title

ISLAMABAD: Mohammad Asif has regained World Snooker Championship title for non-professionals beating Philippines Jefrey Roda in the final in Turkish city of Antayla Saturday.According to reports reaching here Asif beat Roda 8-5 to win his second world individual title. Asif won his first title in 2012 and has to wait for another seven years for the second amateur title.Asif capped the best-of-15 frames win 8-5 in less than five hours with 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. Asif said that he was dedicating this win to the people of Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. “This wasn’t an easy tournament for me, I made my best efforts to win the title for my country and for people of Kashmir,” he said.Our Karachi correspondent adds: The Chairman of the Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA), Ali Asghar Valika, while lauding the landmark achievement of cueist Muhammad Asif, has urged for greater govt support for snooker.“Asif has made the country proud by winning the world snooker title for the second time as he has reclaimed the trophy in Turkey after having won in it for the first time in Bulgaria seven years ago. It’s a praiseworthy achievement which has brought to light the rising snooker standard in Pakistan once more,” Asghar Valika observed here on Saturday, soon after Asif had overpowered Jeffery Rooda of Philippines 8-5 in the final at Antalya. “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 more in the country. Similarly I will urge them to release the outstanding grants of the Association without 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 at regular interval 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,” Asghar Valika stated. “Today I am also reminded of the day when Muhammad Yousuf had become the first Pakistani to win the world crown exactly quarter of a century ago. Being the PBSA President I was there in Johannesburg, South Africa, to watch Yousuf rewrite history. It was an emotional moment for all of us,” he recalled.“1994 was a year when Pakistan simultaneously held world titles of cricket, hockey, snooker and squash. Let’s try to revive the golden era of sports with an athlete (Imran Khan) being at the helm at the affairs in the government,” the PBSA Chairman concluded.

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