Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan warns of players burning out

 

The Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan has called for snooker's top players to rally together to prevent burnout. The "Rocket" went in search of a fourth world title yesterday when he kicked off his World Championship final against Ali Carter in Sheffield. However, O'Sullivan has threatened to quit because of the daunting domestic schedule.

Snooker is now a global brand and the World Snooker chairman, Barry Hearn, has more than doubled the number of tournaments around the world. Last week Stephen Hendry, the seven-time world champion, shocked snooker when he retired. The Scot cited playing in too many tournaments as one of the main reasons why he decided to pack away his cue after 27 years.

"You sense there's always the pressure of World Snooker squeezing you at every opportunity," said O'Sullivan. "For the good of the players it would be good if a lot of us could get together and say we're not happy with certain things and that we'd like a fairer system. Everyone wants to do well and Barry's entitled to make good out of snooker, but I also think the players should be considered. I don't think the players have been taken into consideration.

"World Snooker do push it a little bit too far sometimes and treat players with a little bit of disrespect really, as if they're not important. They are important, though."

O'Sullivan has missed tournaments this season and, as a result, has fallen to No 13 in the world rankings. The 36-year-old says it is becoming increasingly difficult to balance playing at the top level and spending time with his two children. At one stage this season O'Sullivan claimed he nearly crashed his car because he was "knackered". He also collapsed in a hotel room.

"They [World Snooker] want to keep pushing me and pushing me, but when you're ill you need support," O'Sullivan said. "I have two beautiful kids who I want to see – and that's all that matters. They can ban me, fine me, do what they like, but I don't care anymore.

"I love Barry, he's been good to me over the years and we've got a great relationship and always will do. He's been quite open and admitted he's blackmailed the players."

Hearn said in November he had given some events ranking status "to actually force the players into playing". He added: "Ronnie is quite right that it is a form of blackmail, and I put my hands up and plead guilty."

Yesterday O'Sullivan said: "I can't do that schedule and I'm a hard worker."

The Ulsterman Mark Allen has also criticised Hearn's regime and a number of players have voiced concerns.

Hearn said: "Burnout! Don't make me laugh. Tell the geezers working down the mines about burnout."

However, the six-time world champion Steve Davis said: "In a very short space of time things have changed in the calendar and therefore very quickly players are having to re-think their strategy. It might be the springboard to more players retiring. That's why it may be the same as the golfing world where you've got to be totally single-minded and have no responsibilities."

On the table yesterday, O'Sullivan took a 5-3 lead after the first session against Carter. It was not vintage O'Sullivan but he was close to his best.

Breaks of 56 and 117 saw him lead but Carter pinched a scrappy third frame and levelled with an 84. Carter missed a routine red and O'Sullivan scraped the fifth frame with 52. O'Sullivan missed a red to a middle pocket in the next and Carter pounced to square, but his opponent made a majestic 94 clearance to move a frame clear. O'Sullivan finished with a flawless 135.

Suggested Topics
News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
life
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
football
News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?