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Ahsan Ramzan wants Pakistanis to treat cueists with respect like cricketers

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s snooker prodigy, 16-year-old Ahsan Ramzan, wants the government and society to treat cueists as importantly as cricketers in the country.

Ahsan became the third Pakistani to win the IBSF world snooker championship on Friday when he defeated Iran’s Amir Sarkosh in a nerve-testing final. This is overall the country’s 4th IBSF title as Mohammad Asif had won the title twice.

Soon after his victory, Ahsan said that words are not enough to express his feelings after becoming the world champion at the age of 16.

“I can’t ask for more at this age. I can’t express my feelings in words. The feeling of being a world champion is something that only a sportsperson can feel or tell. I am thankful to Almighty Allah for this achievement,” he said.

Ahsan, who was seeded 27th in the championship, had defeated 2nd seed and defending champion Mohammad Asif in the semi-final before beating top seed Iran’s Sarkosh in the final.

The teenager couldn’t control his emotions after winning the semifinal on Thursday night. His photo of getting emotional while being hugged by Asif went viral on social media this morning.

Pakistans Ahsan Ramzan lifts the IBSF World Snooker Championship title. — Photo by author
Pakistan’s Ahsan Ramzan lifts the IBSF World Snooker Championship title. — Photo by author 

“It was the moment when I felt that I am heading towards becoming the world champion,” Ahsan mentioned about the semifinal.

The Lahore-based cueist revealed that his journey from the narrow streets of Lahore to the World championship arena wasn’t an easy one.

“I started playing snooker at the age of 6 or 7. It wasn’t an easy sail for me to get out of my home first to the streets of my vicinity, then to main roads of my city and then play provincial and national championship before qualifying to get here,” he said.

“People usually see just one player on a snooker table, but there’s a long struggle and journey behind that one player. I also want to thank everyone who supported and backed me, from my friends to club mates, from the club where I first played to PBSA; it wouldn’t have been possible without their unconditional support,” the youngster said.

Ahsan hoped that his victory would help snooker in Pakistan get its due importance.

“I want the government to support snooker; I want society to support snooker,” he said.

“I wish that when I go back home, I also get the heroic welcome that any other world champion would receive, it is my wish that we — snooker players — also get the same treatment from the society that our cricketers receive from them,” he concluded.

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Chairman, PCB Heads Meeting: Jason Gillespie, Gary Kirsten and the Committee for Selection

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PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi declared that the National Cricket Team will not include any player involved in misconduct and that there would be a zero-tolerance approach on disciplinary matters.

Chairman PCB announced during a thorough discussion on cricket matters that all players would need to play domestic cricket and that a fitness test would be required every three months.

He claimed that a new process would be developed for players looking to obtain a Nod of clearance for overseas leagues, and that N.O.C. would only be granted to those who satisfy the requirements.

The selection committee’s inclusion of head coach Gary Kirsten and bowling coach Jason Gillespie was also approved by the meeting.

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The captain of the Pakistan Shaheens’ white-ball team has been announced for the upcoming trip to Darwin.

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Mohammad Haris, a wicket-keeper batsman, has been chosen as the captain of Pakistan Shaheens for the two 50-over matches and nine-team Top End T20 series in Darwin, Australia. The matches will take place from 4-18 August.

Haris recently led Pakistan Shaheens in the ACC Men’s Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. In this tournament, Pakistan successfully defended their championship by defeating India with a margin of 128 runs.

The Pakistan Shaheens have already arrived in Darwin to play two four-day matches against Bangladesh ‘A’ on July 19-22 and July 26-29. Sahibzada Farhan is currently captaining the team in the longer format of the game.

Following the two four-day matches, the Shaheens will engage in 50-over matches against Northern Territory (NT) and Bangladesh ‘A’ on 4 and 6 August, respectively, prior to the start of the T20 series on 9 August.

The T20 competition includes additional teams such as ACT Comets, Bangladesh ‘A’, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Northern Territory Strike, Adelaide Strikers, and Tasmania.

In addition, seven modifications have been implemented for the white-ball contests compared to the red-ball side.

Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Jahandad Khan, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Imran Jnr, and Usman Khan are the replacements for Kamran Ghulam, Khurram Shahzad, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Ali, Mubasir Khan, Tayyab Tahir, and Umar Amin.

The Pakistan Shaheens will participate in the Darwin series for the second consecutive year. In the previous year, NT Strike emerged victorious over Shaheens in the final of the Top End T20 Series with a margin of 46 runs. Subsequently, Pakistan Shaheens achieved a resounding victory over PNG by 224 runs and Northern Strike by 84 runs in the two One-day matches.

The white-ball squad of Pakistan Shaheens
Mohammad Haris is the captain of the team, and the other players in the squad are Abdul Faseeh, Arafat Minhas, Arif Yaqoob, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (who is both a wicketkeeper and a batter), Muhammad Irfan Khan, Jahandad Khan, Kashif Ali, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Omair bin Yousuf, Sahibzada Farhan, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Khan.

The personnel providing support to the players include Abdul Rehman as the head coach, Mohammad Masroor as the assistant coach-cum-manager, Mohammad Asad as the physiotherapist, Imranullah as the trainer, and Usman Hashmi as the analyst.

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Shaheen Afridi’s potential absence from the Bangladesh Test match is attributed to personal circumstances. Jason

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Jason Gillespie, the head coach of the Pakistan Red Ball team, may not be able to attend the Bangladesh Test owing to personal issues, as discussed informally with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“Shaheen Afridi has accumulated a considerable amount of experience in the game of cricket,” remarked Jason Gillespie.

Jason Gillespie stated that Shaheen had bowled three times as much as Starc in a year. “Shaheen Shah Afridi is also involved in playing leagues across all three formats,” he stated.

The coach of the Pakistan cricket team emphasised the importance of effectively managing the workload of the fast bowlers from Pakistan. He specified that Shaan Masood will be leading the test crew.

“Although I have not yet had the opportunity to meet Shaan in person, I have been maintaining regular communication with him over the phone,” stated Jason Gillespie. Jason Gillespie stated that he encountered captain Babar Azam in Lahore.

The Pakistan team’s training camp for the upcoming series against Bangladesh is scheduled to commence in the first week of August.

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