I see Ronnie O'Sullivan has attracted quite a bit of criticism because he isn't playing in Saturday's Pot Black.

I can understand snooker fans being disappointed but the fact remains that Ronnie DID NOT withdraw from the tournament. He was never in it to start with.

He had, as a member of the top 7, been invited to play but was under no obligation to compete.

What caused some irritation was that he left it so long to decide, meaning the draw could not be printed in, for instance, the Radio Times.

I've heard it suggested that he isn't playing because of disatisfaction over how his disciplinary hearing following his York walkout last season was handled.

Ronnie was fined £21,000 despite providing what his management considered to be compelling medical evidence pointing to his mental state at the time.

I think it was right he was punished for such a lapse in professionalism but there was a huge hypocrisy in that the very people fining him - the WPBSA - had covered up another premature concession, from Ding Junhui, at the Masters in January because they didn't want this showpiece final ruined.

OK, so Ding was 9-3 down in a best of 19 and Ronnie was only 4-1 down in a best of 17 but the same principle should apply.

Ironically, Ronnie took part in this cover-up but did so with the best of intentions, because he was concerned about Ding's welfare.

All of which leads us to here: Ronnie didn't play in Shanghai, he's not playing in Pot Black and his participation in all of the rest of this season's tournaments can't be taken for granted given his continuing depressions.

For those of us who enjoy watching him play this is all very sad.

1 comment:

andy said...

Hi Dave,

I have to say, Ronnie looked pretty good in the premier league last night. 2 centuries and a 90+ break in the first 3 frames. And then Davis went on to knock in the highest break in "against-the-shot-clock" snooker history. A magnificent 143!

Maybe it's a bit out of line that Ronnie was playing in the premier league last night but not in the pot black cup tomorrow... I can imagine the World Snooker Association making a note of that one, ...but doubt if anything will come of it.