KARACHI: The Pakistan Billiards & Snooker Association (PBSA) has taken a U-turn and allowed Mohammad Yousuf, a former world amateur champion, a wild card entry in the NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2009 that will be getting underway here at the Karachi Club on Wednesday (tomorrow).
Having won the national snooker title on the highest number of occasions, Yousuf only for the second time in his long and illustrious career had been denied participation in the National Championship when the PBSA had refused to give a wild card earlier this year.
The only Pakistani to win the World Championship as well as the Asian Championship, Yousuf, acclaimed as a master craftsman, had earlier absented only in 1999 when he had been banned for the whole year by the PBSA on disciplinary grounds.
The President of the PBSA, Alamgir Anwar Shaikh, clarified that Yousuf was not considered for a wild card entry in the 34th National Championship because he didnít submit any such request in writing to take part whereas he did the needful this time.
Meanwhile, NBP handed over a cheque of Rs 400,000 to the PBSA as the sponsorship fee of the ranking tournament to be contested by 32 cueists who have been divided equally into eight groups. At the end of the league matches the top two cueists from each group will be advancing to the pre-quarter-finals.
The total prizemoney in the six-day tournament will be Rs 115,000 with the winner to take home Rs 40,000 and the runner-up to receive Rs 30,000. The losing semifinalists will be getting Rs 10,000 each while the losing quarter-finalists will be compensated with Rs 5,000 each. The highest break award carries a purse of Rs 5,000.