Sajjad to face brother Ejaz in National Snooker opener

KARACHI: Last year’s IBSF World Championship runner-up Muhammad Sajjad will face his younger brother Muhammad Ejaz in his opening match of 41st edition of Jubilee Insurance National Snooker which breaks off here on Monday.

This will be a rare occasion when brothers clash each other in the national snooker championship at the Shopping Arcade of Movwnpick Hotel.

Ejaz also hailing from Sargodha, qualified for the nationals after reaching the quarterfinal of Punjab Cup. He missed the opportunity last year.

Top seed and two-time National Champion Muhammad Asif will take on Agha Bilawal of Sindh in his opening game.

Prize money of Rs. 272,000 will be in the events. Champion will get Rs.100,000 while the runner-up will pick up Rs50,000.

Players are divided into eight groups. After the best of seven frames round robin league matches, top two cueists from each group will progress to the last-16 stage.

The winner and runner-up will represent Pakistan at the 32nd Asian Snooker Championship, scheduled to be held in Doha, Qatar, from April 15-23.

Besides the top players, the winner and runner-up of National Under-18 and three top cueists of National Under-21 Championship will be eligible to appear in the championship.

Reigning Asian champion Hamza Akbar will not be defending his title in the 13-day competition as he is in the United Kingdom playing on professional circuit.

Former world amateur champion Mohammad Asif has been seeded top for the event while Mohammad Sajjad, who finished runner-up in the last world championship, has been seeded number two.

Other seeded players included Mohammad Bilal (3), Shahram Changezi (40), Mohammad Majid Ali (5), Babar Masihn (6), Shahid Aftab (7) and Sharjeel Mahmood (8).

In the meantime Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA has inducted young Muhammad Faheem of Punjab as the 52nd player in the championship.