Chennai: Former India number two snooker player Syed Habib passed away here on Sunday after a prolonged illness, his son Rafath Habib said.

He was 71 and is survived by two daughters and three sons.

Habib, during his heyday, gave tough times to his rivals.

His career touched a high in 1980 when he got the better of the then World Billiards Champion Michael Ferreria at the Pune Nationals.

Habib followed it up with a runner-up finish to Girish Parekh in Snooker Nationals in Chennai. After retirement from competitions, he was involved in coaching in Singapore.

Rafath emulated his father and went on to win the snooker doubles gold at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, Korea.

Habib's close friend, former National billiards and snooker champion Aravind Savure condoled his death saying, "Habib was an excellent potter and had a good eye.

Unfortunately, he did not receive much exposure. But on his day, he could beat the best in the country."