Islamabad -  IBSF World team snooker champion M Asif has expressed his disappointment over the IPC, PSB and Sindh government for not according warm welcome to the national heroes at Karachi upon their arrival from Egypt.

Talking to The Nation, Aisf, who is also former world amateur snooker champion, said: “It is not the way of treating the favourite sons of the soil, who played out their hearts to win laurels for the country at international level. It was quite discouraging to witness only Pakistan Billiard and Snooker Association (PBSA) officials at Jinnah International Airport to receive the champions and runners-up.

“It is disgusting, when Pakistani cricketers win some kind of a championship, they are all over the place, government, media and masses all provide them red carpet welcome, but when some other athletes or sportsmen win titles, nobody bother to say a few words of appreciation, awarding incentives is far cry. We were expecting calls from the IPC minister, PSB Director General and high-ranked government officials, as it was not an ordinary achievement, but we won the World Cup. Anyhow, we have always played for the country and will continue to do so in future too,” he added.

When asked had he received the cash awards announced by the government in 2012 after he won the World Cup, Asif replied: “I got only Rs 1 million from the PSB but according to set criteria, I was supposed to get Rs 10 million. I hope the PSB not only give me the old dues, but also release fresh incentives for not only me and Babar but also for the other snooker players. We need appreciation and government support, as we carry Pakistani flag across the globe and a few words of appreciation do a lot for us and in return, we work more hard to ensure top positions wherever we play.”

Asif said they had a great 12 days camp at Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad where Sajjad, Asjad, Babar, Naseem Akhtar and he was trained well. “We help each other to rectify our mistakes and buck up each other. We were quite sure that both Pakistani teams had bright chances of landing the title.”

To a query, Asif said: “We don’t have any coach available, as the PBSA hired Iranian coach Soheil Vahedi for only juniors and he had two 15-day sessions with them and then left. A coach’s presence is a great advantage for the players, as in in crunch situations, a coach helps them a great deal. I believe the PBSA should hire a reputed coach for the seniors as well, as it will help the players in rectifying minor mistakes and giving out their best.”

Asif said when both Pakistani teams were in the final, they were quite sure that it would be highly stiff contest, as both were well equipped and almost at par. “We thought we would be able to win the contest 5-3, but it went beyond our expectations, but one thing was satisfactory for both the teams that whoever wins, the title will go to Pakistan.

“In the 9th frame, we had a mighty lead, which was impossible for Sajjad and Asjad to close down and we comfortably won the frame and title. I had won the team title in 2013 as well in Ireland partnering Sajjad and we were runners-up in 2014 in Egypt, as we lost the final against Hong Kong, but we beat mighty Indian team of Pankaj Advani in the quarterfinals and Iranian team in the semifinals, but minor mistakes deprived us of retaining the title that year,” he added.

“Pakistan is blessed with immense talent in snooker. Winning junior world cup by Naseem is a clear indication that the PBSA is working in right direction. The government and PSB must lend a helping hand to the association and establish long-training camps and provide internationally-reputed coaches, and in return, the snooker players will continue to win laurels for the country,” Asif concluded.