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KARACHI: Four cueists, including the former world champion Mohammad Asif, have signed the central contract for 2019 to become eligible for participating in the domestic and international circuit during the year, the Pakistan Billiards and Snoo­ker Federation (PBSF) said in a statement on Sunday.

Besides Asif, the other three cueists include Babar Masih, Asjad Iqbal and Mohammad Sajjad.

“The players have expressed their regret and wrote to the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) for withdrawal of their complaint,” it added.

It is pertinent to mention that Asif and Babar in particiular, came at loggerheads with the PBSF following their refusal to sign central contract on the eve of team’s departure to Egypt to compete in the IBSF 6-Reds and Team Event held at Marsa Alam last month.

They took the stand that the previous contract is valid till Dec 31, 2018, and they will sign it on return. However, the PBSF refused and dropped the defending champion pair from the team.

Mohammad Bilal and Mohammad Majid Ali, who went to Marsa Alam after signing the document, performed poorly in the Team Event. Majid, however, earned a bronze in 6-Reds.

Sources said that the disgruntled quartet were pressurised by their employers, National Bank, for signing the contract or face the consequences.

A similar situation had occurred on the eve of the 43rd National Snooker Championship in the beginning of 2018 and the PBSF had left with no other option then to accept players demands.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2019