Stephen Hendry isn't happy that Ronnie O'Sullivan failed to go to Bahrain.

He told the Daily Record that the world champion 'just does what he wants.'

O'Sullivan withdrew from the tournament before it began, claiming to be 'run down.'

I have sympathy for what Hendry says because crowds have been poor and there is no guarantee this new ranking event will be staged again.

However, it is only fair to point out that he has changed his tune over O'Sullivan's behaviour.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that Hendry is moaning about O'Sullivan turning up when it was his management company who fought with world snooker to give Ronnie some leeway when it came to his health.

In fact, forget the irony - it's just hugely funny

Anonymous said...

Initially I had some compassion for O'Sullivan, but by now I am just annoyed by him. I guess other people, Hendry included, might feel the same.

Anonymous said...

Hendry's views 3 years apart on 2 different withdrawls are not automatically at odds with one another. China in '05 may have been seens as a stronger market than the UAE in '08 such that in the former case whilst unhelpful O'Sullivan's withdrawl was not as critical as in the latter. The prize money in the UAE is also £48,000 for the winner as against £30,000 in China back then. Lastly Hendry's abaility to be sympathetic to a manic-depressive who won't fly 8 hours, or whatever it is, as against the much longer trip to China might have lessened with time.

Anonymous said...

Forgive my ignorance, does anyone know if players are forced to compete in all official ranking events - health and personal circumstances permitting - or can they pick and choose what events they want to play in? Thanks

Janie Watkins said...

They can't force players to enter the events and there's no punishment if they don't.

But what is frowned upon is withdrawing from an event you have entered. this is what causes the most disruption to the promoters, tv, organisers and opponents.

for many years now the players have clung to their ranking position like limpets, as that's what categorised them, and also helped them into major invite events, but I think that might start changing pretty soon.

If wsa could put more ranking events on and independent promoters continue to organiser other excellent events then the players will have real choice.

The could easily drop one or two lesser ranking events in favour of an invitation event or open event with good prize money.

The ultimate aim of the players is to be world champion, world number one and earn lots of money, not necessarily in that order.

For the past couple of seasons now the prevous top players seem to have been somewhat disenchanted and de-motivated and the lean and hungry pack have caught them up and overtaken them.

Several times we've heard comments from players that they're concentrating their whole season towards the world championship, so apart from the world and uk, it seems the other ranking events are just a necessary irritant to them.

I'm sure people will have views at variance with my observations.

But at 19.29 last night UK time UK viewers had the choice of live snooker on two channels... as it happened Bahrain finished about 3 minutes before the Premier League started, but this could well be the shape of things to come - choice for players, choice for spectators - good heavens what is the game coming to!!!

sorry Dave - I've hi-jacked your blog!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Janie.

I agree with what you say re players pulling out at short notice - but if they have a valid medical reason...!!!

The rankings do need a major overhaul. I can't think of any other sport where they stay fixed for one season. Maybe it would confuse WS if they had to update them any more frequently. In commentary you rarely hear mention of the current rankings. Most times it is always the provisional rankings that are mentioned.

If events were properly spaced out you would have qualifiers the week before the actual main event. Just think of the extra spice that would give to matches if a player knew he would drop out of the top 16/32 and then had to go to Pontins to qualify for the next event.

At the moment we have the very stupid situation whereby a tournament winner may have to qualify for the next event - or may not have even made it past qualifying as it has already taken place!

You need the current best performers playing each other on a consistent basis. We don't need players who havn't won a match all season gaining automatic entry into the 1st round at The Crucible. They could have earned that ranking based solely on results 18 months prior!

andy said...

It's interesting reading the 2 articles. It almost sounds like he's changed his attitude from one of the game owes us, especially the following quote from the 2005 article, "The top players should be rewarded for coming out here because without us the event wouldn't be on." to an attitude of realisation that it's the public that pays their wages with these quotes from the 2008 article, "If you are going to promote the game you need the top names here to do it." and "Unfortunately, in this game not many of the top players want to do it. If it falls on my shoulders, fair enough, not a problem.".

It's interesting what Janie says about choice and I was thinking exactly the same thing last night. I can't remember the last time I, if ever, there has been 2 live events televised at the same time. This is great for snooker regardless of all the controversies and negative talk surrounding the issue!!

It's good to know the players are not obliged to play in each event, and this should definitely be the case. Of course, they want to play in most events due to ranking points.


Anonymous said...

And then Hendry goes on and loses the match, suddenly playing much worse than he did for the whole week.
I wonder, do we have a case of 'what goes around - comes around' here?
Now I am convinced that Ronnie's problems that forced him to withdraw are genuine.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else spot the coincidence that in 2005 Hendry was speaking after just beating Robert Milkins? I did a double take to check it really was 2005 thinking they'd got the tournament name wrong but then I read on and it mentioned Paul Hunter around the time he was first diagonsed :-(

Monique said...

I think Janie's post is spot on. Last year most players who had "made" the whole season - bar Ronnie - came burned out at the WC and lost in early rounds: Selby, Murphy, Maguire. While others indeed seem to concentate only on the big ones. I won't name names... Doesn't work for them all the time though.
They should be able to "manage" their season. Sometimes they really need a break...
And the current system hardly allows that.
If really the whole succes and audience of snooker today is SO dependant of Ronnie O'Sullivan as Hendry's quote implies there is really a major problem. First he's nearly 33 and will not be around forever. Second he's a mentally fragile person - always has been and can't be relied upon.
And speaking of Ronnie there is a bit of a dilemna there: if he doesn't enter tournaments ... tix don't sell so well. So maybe ... sometimes it is preferable for all he enters and withdraws at last minute with an acceptable reason. Win-win game: commercially not very honest but profitable and he gets some ranking points. Or am I too wicked to think this way?
I'm not saying it's the way it happens, but I can't help it crossing my mind.

Anonymous said...

too wicked monique ;)

Anonymous said...

I'd just like to quickly comment on "anon's" view on "what goes around, comes around". Whoever wrote that piece claims that Hendry's loosing his match against Stevens and making his comments is in any way, shape, or form related to O'Sullivan's withdrawal.

I cannot and will not think about how strange this correlation is.