Sunday, 10 February 2013

The whistlestop week

It's been a busy week on the old green baize.

There have been no shortage of talking points. Here's my whistlestop tour of the goings on to keep you right up to date.


It was announced that the World Open will be broadcast by ITV4 in the UK later this month.

I'm reliably informed that this is the first ranking event they've hosted in 20 years, when they broadcast the British Open way back in 1993.

This is a great addition to the coverage already provided by Eurosport and helps bring snooker to the masses, because it is a free channel.

ITV4 already shows many sports and this addition shows they take it seriously. Clive Everton will be leading the way in the commentary box and who's to say this won't be the first of many tournaments on the channel.


Stephen Lee's suspension seems to be lingering on.

It was announced that his place in the upcoming PTC Grand Finals in Galway will be filled by Xiao Guodong with no conclusion of his disciplinary proceedings.

This is frustrating for the player who has served suspension since October - but an announcement is surely not far away.


This month's edition of Snooker Scene magazine saw editor Clive Everton write a detailed feature about out-of-form world number two Judd Trump.

He speculated about his recent poor results and also took issue with the comments he made published in an article published in the Telegraph where he bemoaned the lack of money in snooker.

Everton said: "With as yet only three ranking titles to his name, he may be starting to get just a little too big for his designer boots."

He also questioned the motivations and research put into the article by journalist Jonathan Liew and then told Trump some more home truths. He added: "He should be careful not to come across as driven by money rather than titles or ungrateful to those who, after decades in which snooker was mismanaged, are trying with some success to develop the game to the kind of level which will allow Trump and his contemporaries to flourish to a degree previous generations of players never knew."

Everton rarely pulls any punches. This was easily the stand-out feature of the magazine.     


Action in this year's Championship League continued in earnest this week with Barry Hawkins and Martin Gould becoming the latest names to qualify through for the winner's group.

They join John Higgins, Ali Carter, Ding Junhui, Mark Allen and one other in the winner's group.

A place in next season's Premier League is up for grabs for the winner of the final winner's group.


The Welsh Open is due to start tomorrow in Newport.

The qualifying matches for the event took place in the week just gone by with the world's top players back in the cubicles with their places at the event not guaranteed.

Many of the sport's stellar names came through the test, but not all.

Ali Carter - winner of the recent German Masters - will not appear at the event after losing out to Gerard Greene.

There are many fresh faces set for the TV cameras. Gloucester's Michael Wasley has qualified for his second consecutive venue after beating Mark Davis. Pankaj Advani qualified with victory against Peter Ebdon.

Ian Burns is having a great rookie season and continued his form by beating Jack Lisowski and Jamie Cope to make it through.

Craig Stedman downed Jamie Burnett. Sam Baird came past Martin Gould and Gareth Allen has been fast-tracked to the venue for his final qualifier against John Higgins.

The draw for the main event has lots of new faces and gives an insight into what life could be like next season with the wider introduction of flat draws in events.

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