The Bahrain Championship had a depleted field long before Ronnie O’Sullivan’s withdrawal yesterday.
The clash of dates with the Premier League meant that Mark Selby, John Higgins and Ding Junhui could not enter.
We still don’t know what Steve Davis is going to do.
There have been other dates clashes this season which caused a World Series event to be cancelled and uncertainty as to who could play in pro-ams in Europe, which are spreading the snooker word across the continent.
How can this be avoided in future?
The answer is simpler than you might think.
Each year there should be a ‘fixture conference’ chaired by World Snooker to which all independent promoters are invited.
World Snooker run the professional tour – which should take precedence – but it is in their own members (ie the players) interests to be able to play in as many tournaments as possible.
There is no reason why the dates for all tournaments should not be agreed in a civilised manner that benefits the sport as a whole.
Of course, some new events may be added that scupper things but, in principle, there is no reason why everyone can’t get round a table and act like grown-ups.
Surely the game itself is the most important thing?