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“Snooker can’t afford to lose O’Sullivan” says Hendry

May 8, 2012 by Barny in News

“Snooker can’t afford to lose O’Sullivan” says Hendry

Snooker legend Stephen Hendry has warned snooker chief Barry Hearn that the sport cannot afford to lose four-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The recently retired Hendry said: “He’s the best player in the world and any tournament without the best player in the world is devalued.”

O’Sullivan has threatened to quit the sport on many occasions, but the recent expansion of the snooker tour to 27 events, covering 50 weeks of the year could be the final blow to ‘Rocket’ Ronnie’s professional career.

The 36-year-old said he would take a break from the sport and then decide whether to continue.

“I’m quite happy to move on, if I have to because there’s a lot out there for me to do.

“I know there’s still a bit more in the tank for me in snooker but certain people need to start doing the right thing.”

With the retirement of seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry still very fresh in the mind and potentially the loss of O’Sullivan after he has recently been crowned World Champion for the fourth time, the consequences for the sport of snooker could be catastrophic.

Hendry said: “It’s like when Tiger Woods wasn’t playing – the viewing figures for golf went down and the sponsors didn’t show the same interest. I think we’ll find the same with O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan is second after Stephen Hendry, on snooker’s all-time prize-money list and has been world number one on five different occasions, winning a total of 24 ranking titles.

He has compiled 11 maximum breaks in professional competitions, a record he shares with Hendry. He also holds the record for the fastest maximum break, at 5 minutes 20 seconds.

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