ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) president Munawwar Hussain Shaikh has lashed out at Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) minister Riaz Pirzada and PSB DG Akhtar Ganjera for deliberately ignoring snooker players and depriving them of their due incentives.

Talking to The Nation, Munawwar said: “The PBSA and snooker players have been earning international laurels for the country as only last year, our players managed to win 112 international titles for the country. So seeing all these achievement, the IPC and PSB must appreciate and admire our sincere efforts for the snooker community and enhance special grant of the PBSA, which was so meager, as Rs 3 million were too less to conduct national ranking championships, sending players and teams abroad, but we somehow managed to send teams and players abroad.

“But to my utter disappointment, the PSB has hammered all our plans by slashing the Rs 3 million annual special grant to Rs 1.5 million. It is a joke with the efforts of snooker players, who played out their hearts and won laurels for country but in return, instead of rewarding them and enhancing their grants, the current grant is being reduced, which is highly disgraceful,” he added.

He said now the IPC minister and PSB DG must tell him and others that how the PBSA could send players and individuals abroad for training and international events. “We have to send teams and players for at least 10 to 12 international events every year and this year is no different. Around Rs 1 million is required for a single tour, so how on earth, we would be able to afford 12 tours. I want to know on what grounds and reasons our annual special grant is being slashed?

“Why step-motherly treatment is being rendered to the PBSA, why snooker players are not taken seriously, why snooker is being treated in different way? Other athletes are given incentives and other benefits without even asking, while in snooker case, we have to literally beg and run after IPC and PSB for months and even then, snooker players are not given their due right. If IPC, PSB and the country don’t need our services and they are not ready to give us time and funds, then we will decide our future,” he added.

Munawwar said: “We are grateful to Jubilee Insurance and private sponsors for lending a helping hand to the association to conduct the national senior and junior championships. But the government has done nothing in this regard. This year is very important as a number of international events are round the corner. How can we manage financial affairs, if government won’t support us? It is my humble request to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi to look into the snooker issue and order sufficient raise in our annual special grant, so that we may focus on performances and arranging tournaments, rather than running from post to pillar to arrange funds for sending players abroad.”

He said last year, two training courses were conducted under international coach. “We are still waiting for the release grant to clear their dues.” When asked about establishing academies, which the minister had promised, Munawwar said: “It is only on papers, as the reality is different. All the promises made to us were never fulfilled. We requested to provide piece of land in Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi for the construction of snooker academies, but nothing was done and we are still waiting to get land for this purpose. In Islamabad, we treat PSB snooker hall as an academy.”

“We are highly hopeful that the PM and IPC minister will pay heed towards our genuine demands and not only raise the PBSA’s annual special grant, but also provide land to construct academies. In return, we promise to win international medals for Pakistan,” Munawwar concluded.



PBSA President

Munawwar Hussain Shaikh