KARACHI - It was a tobacco company some years ago which nurtured the sapling of snooker into a strong tree through financial assistance spread over a long time and now the New Jubilee Insurance (NJI) company has picked up the task to support the game by announcing a long term sponsorship of the events organized by the PBSA. Tahir Ahmed, the MD of the NJI talked about the support of his company to the PBSA at a media conference held here at Karachi Gymkhana on Wednesday in connection with the national championship and said that the NJI would not only sponsor events already given to it by the PBSA but would even look into the feasibility of financing an international event some time in future. NJI which entered snooker scene as sponsor of national junior championship some four years ago, Tahir Ahmed said would continue its support on long term basis. He however added that due to some constraints the company would lie low for about couple of months in the middle of this year but later on would support the game as it had done for the last four years. The media was invited for a briefing about the fourth NJI national junior ( under 21) championship which was to open here at Karachi Gymkhana January 31 but the PBSA with the approval of the sponsors NJI has decided to defer the junior event and replace it with NJI national championship which will be held from the same dates at the same venue. Alamgir Shaikh, the president of the PBSA informed the media that it was felt that by bringing forward the dates of the national would be good for preparing the national team for important international events and to avoid clash with the cricket world cup dates. The national was originally planned for February 13-19, he said. ANISUDDIN KHAN