This Pakistani man born without arms becomes an expert in snooker
SAMUNDRI (PAKISTAN) – Born without arms, Muhammad Ikram, 32, is an achiever. His determination and hard work have made him the master of snooker. It is a sight to behold as he takes aim, flexes his neck and strikes with his chin, sending the cue ball rolling across the table and sinks his shot in a corner pocket.
He has spent eight years pushing a cue ball with his chin in Samundri, a rural town in Punjab province, and today he is a force to reckon with when it comes to snooker.
“I have met very good snooker players who tell me I am a real genius, and that I can bring great fame to Pakistan,” Ikram said.
Born into a poor family having nine children, he was uneducated and deprived as a child. His main hobby was watching people play snooker. Somewhere along the line, he started practising secretly.
“He would eagerly watch the other boys play. He would keep wishing he also had arms so he could play like them,” said his mother, Razia Bibi. “Then he started using his chin.”
Mian Usman Ahmed, co-owner of Cuemaster Snooker Club, said Ikram has bagged several prizes in local competitions over the past two years.
“He would come to the club and ask that he be allowed to play. We would look at his arms and feel he was unable to,” Ahmed said.
“He insisted we allow him to … prove himself. When he did that, we saw he was actually very good.”
Ikram said his achievements made people appreciate his grit and some eateries allow him to have food for free and bearers volunteer to spoon-feed him.
“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,” he said.
With the help of the government, he hopes to play at the international level.
As many as 92 Pakistani athletes took part in the Special Olympic Games in the United Arab Emirates last year and they bagged 18 gold medals, 28 silver and 15 bronze in 10 different items.