O'Sullivan backs radical snooker revamp

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The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan believes Power Snooker is the future of the sport and claims he is "bored" with the World Championship format.

Snooker is set for a radical revamp following the launch of an new action-packed format intended to revolutionise the sport.

Created by Rod Gunner and endorsed by World Snooker chief Barry Hearn, Power Snooker is a radical departure from the orthodox game, with matches lasting just 30 minutes and where points count instead of frames won.

The concept has already attracted the backing of three-time world champion O'Sullivan, who will star in a live eight-hour television spectacular in October which will see some of the world's top players premiere the new format.

O'Sullivan, along with Hearn and Gunner, officially launched Power Snooker in London yesterday, and the Rocket is excited by the development.

"I definitely think this is the future of snooker," said O'Sullivan. "It is just that a few people have got to get their heads around it.

"It is the year 2010 and we are not stuck in the 1970s anymore.

"I find the World Championship really boring. I've won it three times but 17 days in Sheffield is draining. People just want to pitch up and play.

"Snooker needs a new audience and the idea of a game coming to an end in 30 minutes is exciting.

"I can understand that people still like their long endurance games, but for me the excitement of playing a game that keeps you on your toes, keeps you on your edge, is something I am really looking forward to.

"It is going to change snooker. The crowd will love it and the public will enjoy it. I cannot find a flaw in it.

"You just want some excitement in your life and this brings excitement."

Cricket has already benefited from the introduction of the Twenty20 version and Hearn is now looking to do the same for snooker. He was quick to seize on Gunner's radical idea and ITV Sport and TalkSPORT radio have already backed it.

Rileys clubs will help to promote the game at grass-roots level by making Power Snooker available to youngsters in their 120 establishments in the UK.

The final line-up for the October TV debut of Power Snooker has yet to be finalised, although O'Sullivan is confirmed and invitations have gone out to Neil Robertson, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby, Ali Carter, Shaun Murphy, Luca Brecel and Jimmy White.