Snooker: Karachi bomb delays Pakistan-India snooker tie

KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistan and India on Tuesday postponed their snooker series planned for this week over security fears in host city Karachi, following a bomb attack that killed 48 people.

The four-day series - the first between the arch-rivals in almost eight years - was due to start on Thursday but the visitors voiced concerns after Sunday's blast and asked for the series to be played later.

Pakistan Snooker and Billiards Association president Alamgeer Shaikh said it was a mutual decision to postpone the clash.

"It was not possible for any country to play in Karachi after the deadly blast and we accepted India's request to hold the series until the situation gets better in the city," Mr Shaikh told AFP.

The neighbours have not played a snooker series since 2005, when India visited. All sporting ties were frozen after the deadly attacks on Mumbai in 2008, which were blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

Cricketing ties were revived after a gap of five years when Pakistan toured India in December-January for a short limited-overs series.

Despite the interruption, Mr Shaikh praised India for agreeing to the series.

"India had shown a great gesture to agree on the series and four of their players were due to arrive on Wednesday, but it's disappointing that the situation forced us to put the series on hold," said Mr Shaikh.

Snooker and billiards are fast-growing sports in the sub-continent, and Pakistan's Mohammad Asif won the world amateur snooker title last year.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.