Profile: The rise of Ahsan Ramzan

Published October 21, 2021
Ahsan Ramzan. —Picture: Tahir Jamal/White Star
Ahsan Ramzan. —Picture: Tahir Jamal/White Star

YOUNG snooker sensation Ahsan Ramzan was nobody’s bet yet he made his mark in the recently-concluded Nati­onal Snooker Champ­ionship. He was among the six outstanding juniors fielded by the Pakistan Billiards and Snooker Federation (PBSF) to feature in the event alongside 50 other cueists.

Ahsan’s phenomenal rise in the men’s competition in presence of much experienced and five national champions has proved that there is no dearth of talent in the country and sent a message loud and clear that the futures lies in the investment of youth.

He has entered his name in the annals of the game by bec­o­ming youngest ever men’s finalist but was unlucky to create another history of winning all five national titles.

With national U-16, U-17 and U-18 titles under his belt, he went down 3-6 to Sheikh M. Mudassir in the National U-21 final at Lahore on Aug 10 besides a 6-7 loss to Mohammad Sajjad in men’s final on Oct 11.

The 16-year-old. who hails from Lahore. has ample time to add the remaining two honours to his tally besides breaking barriers in global events in the days to come.

By virtue of attaining top two rankings, both Sajjad and Ahsan have qualified to represent the country in the IBSF World Snooker Cham­pionship being held at Doha later this year.

This was his third appearance in the men’s national competition. He could not go beyond league in the last two events held in 2019 and 2020.

Ahsan had stopped his education after passing eighth grade due to sudden demise of his father three years ago. He had already lost his mother when he was just four.

He was among three juniors who were employed by the State Bank but unfortunately that could not last more than a year in the aftermath of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s notification to disband sports teams.

Sheikh M. Mudassir and Ali Haider were the two other cueists beside former national champion Mohammad Bilal, a coach, who also lost their jobs.

In addition to a runner-up purse of Rs50,000 and another Rs25,000 for being youngest ever finalist, he was given Rs35,000 as daily allowance for 13 days by the game’s controlling body. Tax was deducted on the prize money.

Considering the rate of inflation the prize money as well as the allowance is meagre for players having potential to keep their interest alive.

Ahsan has many miles to go and for that, he needs financial support. The Punjab Sports Board should come forward and sponsor his educational expenses besides giving him substantial monthly stipend to cater to his regular training.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021

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