By: Our Correspondent
Cue sports around the world feature a variety of games, such as Snooker, 9 Ball Pool, 8 Ball Pool, Billiards and 3 Cushion Carom. While Pakistan regularly participates in snooker events organized by ACBS (Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports) and IBSF (International Billiards and Snooker Federation), the country’s appearance in other cue sports is negligible.
Pakistan boasts a number of titles in amateur snooker – both at the global and continental level. However, while enjoying an equal or even greater status in the world, 9 Ball is a rarity in the country.
Shahram Changezi is currently the only player from Pakistan pursuing 8 Ball Pool and 9 Ball Pool along with Snooker. Shahram has the following Snooker medals and honours under his belt:
- Bronze Medal: Asian Games Snooker Team Event, China 2010
- Bronze Medal: Asian Team Snooker Championship, Iran 2015
- Bronze Medal: World Team Snooker Championship, Pakistan 2015
- National Ranking Champion 2007 and 2008
Shahram has also been making arrangements in his personal capacity to participate in 8 Ball Pool and 9 Ball Pool international events. His prominent performances include:
- Runner Up: All Arab 9 Ball Pool Championship 2008, Kuwait
- Quarter Finalist: US Open Chinese 8 Ball Pool Championship 2018, USA
The US Open 9 Ball Pool Championship is the biggest event in 9 Ball Pool in the world. As many as 256 players take part in this prestigious event, which, for the first time, will feature a Pakistani player. Besides all the prominent Pool players of the world, World Professional Snooker Champion JUDD TRUMP has also confirmed his entry and will make his 9 Ball Pool debut in this event. The event will take place in Harrah’s Resort, Atlantic City, the USA from 13 Sep to 18 Sep 2021.
Shahram Changezi is working with the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, where he works as the Assistant Director of Sports. The institute has consistently supported Shahram in his national and international participation. According to the cueist, “The amount of support and respect I have received from NUST is extraordinary. Although primarily an academic institution, it offers full support to any student or staff participating in sports at national and international levels. Once again, NUST has stepped up to support me for my US Open 9 Ball Championship 2021 endeavor, and I am deeply grateful to them.”
He added, “It is going to be an invigorating experience to compete among the world’s best 256 players. Personally, it is a matter of pride and honour for me to see my name as the first Pakistani cueist to take part in the US Open 9 Ball Championship. I hope my participation will create a stir in the cue sports community in Pakistan and will be a source of increased interest in 9 Ball Pool in the country.”
Elaborating on his preparations for the Championship, he said, “I have been practicing in a local Islamabad club (Breakers Snooker F-11), where they have an international standard 9 Ball Pool table. On my request, they immediately recovered the cloth and changed the balls to facilitate me. I am practicing as many hours as possible on a daily basis and I will try to give my best in my maiden US Open 9 Ball Championship.”