Upsets cause massive changes in snooker rankings
KARACHI: As expected, massive changes have taken place in the national snooker rankings following the plethora of upsets rocking the seeded cueists in the 11th NBP Ranking Snooker Championship 2019 held here at the NBP Sport Complex a few weeks ago.
According to the latest national ranking chart, released by Naveed Kapadia, Tournament Director and the officiating Joint Secretary of the Pakistan Billiards Snooker Association (PBSA) here on Friday, the majority of the previously seeded cueists have been affected by their underwhelming performance in the recent tourney.
The veteran Muhammad Asif, a former world champion, is the biggest gainer, however, among the seeded lot. Having been placed at number seven before start of the event, he has surged to the top position after regaining the trophy.
The 37-year-old Asif, hailing from Faisalabad, was deemed fortunate to have got away with it in some close encounters but he rode his luck to become the top ranked cueist of the country once more.
Mubashir Raza, who had gone down fighting in what turned out to an epic final of the NBP championship, extending to the full distance of 15 frames, has leapfrogged from 18th position to fifth in the national rankings. He has made to the elite list of top eight cueists for the first time in his career.
Zulfiqar Abdul Qadir, who was placed third in the previous rankings, has moved to second position despite having been knocked over in the quarter-finals of the NBP event. Asjad Iqbal, ranked second previously, us now placed at third position. M Bilal, the reigning national champion, has slipped to fourth place after having entered the NBP Championship as the top seed.
Naseem Akhtar, a former World Under-18 champion, has jumped to the sixth position in the rankings after having been placed at number 11 earlier. M Ijaz has dropped from sixth to seventh place while M Ahsan Javaid, another promising youngster, makes a significant jump from 23rd to eighth place.
Sohail Shahzad, M Majid Ali, Haris Tahir, M Sajjad, Ahsan Ramzan, M Shahbaz, Babar Masih and Ali Haider share 9th to 16th positions while Rashid Aziz, Abdul Sattar, Abu Saim, Imran Shahzad, Shahid Aftab, Agha Bilawal, Rambail Gul and Sultan Muhammad are ranked between 17th to 24th positions.
The top 24 cueists will be retained for the third national ranking event of the year, due to be held in September.