Pakistan to host Asian snooker championship

KARACHI: Pakistan will host the Asian Amateur Snooker Championship next month, officials announced on Wednesday, despite security concerns which forced a recent event with arch-rivals India to be cancelled.

The tournament will take place in Karachi between April 27 and May 3, Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA) president Alamgeer Shaikh said, insisting the multi-country event would go ahead without any problems.

“We expect around 20-25 countries to take part in the championship with India, Iran and Afghanistan having already sent their participation,” Shaikh told reporters.

“A one-to-one series was difficult,” he added, referring to the cancellation earlier this month of a series between India and Pakistan which was due to be the first featuring the two countries since 2005.

“When you talk of the Asian event, it’s a matter of a prestigious title and that matters for all the countries,” he said.

Pakistan was forced to put off the bilateral snooker series with India after Indians raised security fears following a blast in Karachi which killed 48 people.

Next month’s championship will be the fourth time Pakistan has hosted the event. The first was in 1991, followed by 1998 and 2007.

Pakistan is considered to be a major force in international snooker with two players from the country having won the world amateur title since 1994.