Pakistani snooker player beats the odds to pursue love for the game

Mohammad Ikram, who was born without arms, learnt to play snooker with just his chin and mouth and has won local tournaments with his incredible skill.

By Rahul Venkat

When taking aim on a snooker table, the thought is usually to work out which balls to hit, the appropriate angles, the right position, and the amount of power required to pot a ball.

For Mohammad Ikram though, the process starts without one major element – the cue stick.

Born without arms in Pakistan’s Punjab province, Ikram was first drawn to a pool table as a 10-year-old. The game intrigued him and the youngster wanted to take part but without arms, it seemed an improbable task.

However, Ikram has made his dream work with a unique style – he does all the strategising snooker players usually do with the only difference being that he hits the cue ball with his mouth.

“God has not given me arms, but he has given me courage and I have used that spirit to fulfil my ambition. So, no one should lose hope,” Ikram explained.

Muhammad Ikram, who was born without arms, plays snooker with his chin at a local club in Samundri, Pakistan

“People in the club didn’t believe that I could play with my chin. But they gradually started admiring my skills when I started doing it,” he continued.

“When he first hit the ball with his chin, it simply amazed me because it was as good as any other snooker player could have hit it with a cue in hand,” said Mohammad Nadeem, who owns a local snooker club and had turned Ikram away initially.

The media picked up on it and Ikram’s fame spread across Pakistan. Needless to say, his parents were incredibly proud of his achievements.

The 32-year-old Ikram now travels to the club regularly to play at their snooker tables. He has reportedly won three local tournaments but he does not want to stop there.

“I have met very good snooker players who tell me I am a real genius, and that I can bring great fame to Pakistan. I wish I could go abroad and play in front of other people,” Ikram stated.

Snooker has twice been a part of the Paralympics but has been discontinued since 1988.