KARACHI: Hamza Akbar became only Pakistani cueist to participate who took part in the Professional Snooker World Cup in but because of the shortage of money he had to borrow money to fulfill expense there during a tournament.
The 22-year-old made history by becoming only Pakistani player to become a part of the professional circuit, and his journey also highlights the failures of the Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Sports Ministry and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for not providing Hamza even his prize money after becoming the Asian Snooker Champion, but he continued his journey alone.
Mohammad Nisar, who supported Hamza in the UK, and helped out the young cueist when he was being ignored by Pakistan’s sports authorities. He told in an interview t local newspaper that:
I’ve had a phenomenal experience as far as playing on the professional circuit is concerned because I had the chance to play with the best in the world.
I enjoyed playing the matches as much as I could and all my time away from the game was either spent practicing or trying to arrange money to sustain myself there.
I had to borrow £2,500 for my living expenses and my World Cup entry fee, which was £700 and was paid by Muhammad Nisar just two days before the deadline.
Just for his passion he tried every way to contact IPC Sports Minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada every day, but his office staff kept ignoring him.
Hamza, who has taken admission in the Victoria Snooker Academy, has returned to Pakistan with a ranking of 96 — the first Pakistani to break into the top 150 and a loan of £2500.
He hopes on returning the loan when he visits the UK next month to participate in his second season of the professional circuit.
I badly wanted the money to meet my expenses, and I used to get up at six in the morning to call the IPC Sports Minister, but his staff kept making excuses. It was like begging for my right.
I thought I would get a lot of support since I was making history and playing at the highest level but that was not the case. However, I’m happy that I’ve broken into the top 100 because you need that to survive in the professional circuit.
The cueist who lives in Faisalabad stated that he has gained much experience from there and will endeavor to play better in the next season, which is going to commence in May. Though, his approximation is that he requires almost £10,000 to £12,000 for accommodation, traveling, food and tournament entries.
Hamza asserted that his fellow professionals are of the view that he has done a good job in his initial year.
I aim to keep playing on the professional circuit, The conditions there are just perfect, and everything depends on your practice and game. You can’t make any excuses that the table was not right or that moisture was there.