KARACHI – Snooker is the sport which was keeping Pakistan at the top during the last couple of years.
However, still the Pakistani snooker players are struggling to get the necessary appreciation or even the limelight, with no other incentives.
Several titles were brought home during the past few years. Recently, Asjad & Bilal, during the SAARC Championship, in the semi-final, after they have won their Indian opponents, contested the final. Eventually Asjad was the winner.
During June, Zulfiqar Qadir and Babar Masih from Pakistan, were victorious in the Asian team championship. Previously Bilal and Asjad have won India and achieved in winning the IBSF World-team snooker Championship.
The Asian Tour of 10-reds Snooker Championship for 2019, was won by Bilal! However, up till now the players did not receive any form of appreciation.
On Thursday, Bilal & Asjad, via a video message have expressed their emotions about the fact that they did not receive enough recognition for their achievements.
The duo highlighted the fact that they had to spent their own money and borrowing from other individuals to take part in the Word Team Championship, in which they were the winners.
Notwithstanding, they did not receive any incentives. They said to forget about incentives, they just need help to repay the borrowed money.
They added that when traveling to the Word Championship, 50% of their expenses was paid by the PBSA, whilst they had to pay the other 50% of the amount. Bilal stated that he had money for the roof of his house, which he had to spent on his travel to attend the championship.
Asjad stated that the Pakistani cricketers receive all the appreciation, even when they lost.
Asjad Iqbal, in an interview with Geo.tv, asked whether they are not seen as winners and if they are not sportsmen of their country?
He concluded by stating, even when cricketers lose matches they are earning millions, whilst they don’t even get appreciative words.
Another fact, which add more insult to the snooker players’ injury, is the monthly salary, the PBSA, their sports federation, is paying them. This remuneration is lower than Pakistan’s minimum wage of Rs15,000.
A set of players selected, earn an amount of Rs8,000 to Rs12,000 from the PBSA.
According to the PBSA it experiences a lack of resources to enable it to pay players larger sums of money.
Munawar Sheikh, president of the PBSA commented that its resources are limited. However, the PBSA is doing the best it can. Adding they are attempting to get the players job opportunities. He said some players were employed, but that it also has a limit.
Concluding, Munawar Sheikh said the government & PSB should support Snooker.
The Pakistani snooker players’ misery after they have brought accolades home, outlines the reasons for the overall declination in Pakistani sports.