KARACHI: Former IBSF world champion, both in the individual and team category, Mohammad Asif will be defending his crown in the 8th NBP Ranking Championship which will commence from August 15 at the NBP Sports Complex.
As many as 26 players — 24 top-ranked players in the national rankings plus two juniors, who will be divided into four groups, are participating in the competition. The group stage matches will be seven-frame matches while the quarter-final will be nine, the semi-finals 11 and the final 15.
The winner of the competition will pocket Rs60,000, while the runner-up will get Rs35,000.
According to the new rankings, Babar Masih will enter the competition as the top-ranked player, while Sohail Shehzad maintained his second position. Asjad Iqbal has moved up four positions from seventh to third while Mohammad Bilal has dropped from first to fourth.
Abu Saim is the most improved player as he moved from fifth to 16th, while Mohammad Sajjad and Asif are ranked sixth and seventh respectively.
Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Association President Alamgir Sheikh, meanwhile, thanked the sponsors for their support claiming that Pakistan snooker is standing on four pillars which is the Pakistan Sports Board, NBP, Jubilee Insurance and Langnese as it is their financial support which has allowed the game to flourish.