Sport John Higgins has sympathy for Ronnie O'Sullivan in World Snooker row

21:22  18 april  2017
21:22  18 april  2017 Source:   Press Association

John Higgins: Ronnie O'Sullivan's reprimand from World Snooker 'out of order'

  John Higgins: Ronnie O'Sullivan's reprimand from World Snooker 'out of order' John Higgins has "a degree of sympathy" with Ronnie O'Sullivan's complaints against World Snooker. O'Sullivan took the spotlight away from the first round of the Betfred World Championship on Sunday when he followed victory over Gary Wilson by accusing World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and his board of bullying and intimidation in a number of recent incidents.Hearn sternly refuted the five-time word champion's claims, but the 41-year-old's comments are the talk of the Crucible.

John Higgins has "a degree of sympathy " with Ronnie O ' Sullivan 's complaints against World Snooker . "But I don't think every top player is going to stand together." Northern Ireland's Mark Allen also had his say on the row .

John Higgins has "a degree of sympathy " with Ronnie O ' Sullivan 's complaints against World Snooker . "But I don't think every top player is going to stand together." Northern Ireland's Mark Allen also had his say on the row .

John Higgins is chasing a fifth Crucible success: Betfred Snooker World Championships 2017 - Day Four - Crucible Theatre © PA WIRE Betfred Snooker World Championships 2017 - Day Four - Crucible Theatre

John Higgins has "a degree of sympathy" with Ronnie O'Sullivan's complaints against World Snooker.

O'Sullivan took the spotlight away from the first round of the Betfred World Championship on Sunday when he followed victory over Gary Wilson by accusing World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and his board of bullying and intimidation in a number of recent incidents.

Hearn sternly refuted the five-time world champion's claims, but the 41-year-old's comments are the talk of the Crucible.

After booking his own place in the second round with a 10-6 victory over Martin Gould, four-time champion Higgins told BBC Radio Five Live: "I have a degree of sympathy for him.

Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan all-square after mesmerising opening session

  Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan all-square after mesmerising opening session Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a potting masterclass as they went toe-to-toe in their Betfred World Championship quarter-final at the Crucible. Every frame saw a break of 50 or more as Ding raced into a 3-0 lead but O'Sullivan responded by taking the next three before the pair split the last two to go into this evening's session all-square at 4-4 in Sheffield.Ding took the opening frame courtesy of a 71 break and then followed that up with a magnificent 128 clearance to double his advantage.

John Higgins has “a degree of sympathy ” with Ronnie O ’ Sullivan ’s complaints against World Snooker . Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen also had his say on the row , telling BBC Two: “I’m convinced the two of them ( O ’ Sullivan and Hearn) sit in a room together and contrive these things.

Snooker betting and all the latest Snooker odds from Sky Bet. Bet on the World Championship and Tour events. The others are Stephen Hendry (7 worlds , 5 UKs & 6 Masters), Steve Davis (6 worlds , 6 UKs & 3 Masters), Ronnie O ’ Sullivan (5 worlds , 5 UKs & 5 Masters), John Higgins (4 worlds , 3

"If I am led to believe what I have heard about how he was reprimanded, it is out of order.

"He has a lot to take on his shoulders in this sport because he is the biggest name – along with Ding (Junhui), the biggest name in the Far East.

"The game would be a lot poorer without him."

In a television interview with BBC Two, Higgins added: "There are things in the players' contracts that are too severe.

"The only way we can change that is if all the top players got together and tried to get things taken out, but I don't think every top player is going to stand together."

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen also had his say on the row.

"I'm convinced (O'Sullivan and Hearn) sit in a room together and contrive these things," he told BBC Two.

"Ronnie sometimes gets on like a bit of a spoilt brat...Barry's the big man shooting him down. At times he speaks to people like he's speaking to a child.

Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan all-square after mesmerising opening session

  Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan all-square after mesmerising opening session Ding Junhui and Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a potting masterclass as they went toe-to-toe in their Betfred World Championship quarter-final at the Crucible. Every frame saw a break of 50 or more as Ding raced into a 3-0 lead but O'Sullivan responded by taking the next three before the pair split the last two to go into this evening's session all-square at 4-4 in Sheffield.Ding took the opening frame courtesy of a 71 break and then followed that up with a magnificent 128 clearance to double his advantage.

John Higgins has “a degree of sympathy ” with Ronnie O ’ Sullivan ’s complaints against World Snooker . Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen also had his say on the row , telling BBC Two: “I’m convinced the two of them ( O ’ Sullivan and Hearn) sit in a room together and contrive these things.

John Higgins has “a degree of sympathy ” with Ronnie O ’ Sullivan ’s complaints against World Snooker . Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen also had his say on the row , telling BBC Two: “I’m convinced the two of them ( O ’ Sullivan and Hearn) sit in a room together and contrive these things.

"I think it's a clash of personalities, I don't think there's much in it."

Higgins overcame a slow start on Tuesday to ease past Gould. The Scot held a commanding 7-2 lead overnight in the best-of-19 clash but lost the first two frames as Londoner Gould closed to within three.

But Higgins sent out a warning with an emphatic 127 break - the third highest of the tournament to date - and the world number six sealed his win in the 16th frame with 82.

Ding also secured his progress, completing a 10-5 win over fellow Chinese player Zhou Yuelong.

He was unable to add to his three centuries from the previous session - which included the tournament's top two breaks, 136 and 132 - and initially saw his lead reduced from 7-2 to 7-4 after runs of 60 and 93 from Zhou.

But breaks of 67 in frame 12 and 68 in the 15th saw Ding through.

Judd Trump was pegged back by Rory McLeod as the veteran came from 4-0 down to lead 5-4.

Though a huge underdog, McLeod possesses the kind of dogged game that can knock Trump out of his rhythm and so it proved after the interval, with the world number two perhaps not helped by a long and ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of a snooker to rescue the seventh frame.

World number 48 Stuart Carrington compiled century breaks in three successive frames to end the morning session with a 5-4 lead over Liang Wenbo.

Carrington strung together 124, 101 and 107 between the fifth and seventh frames for a 5-2 scoreline but Liang took the last two to set up a tense evening session.

Ronnie O'Sullivan back in action, but with two celebrities in his corner .
Ronnie O'Sullivan is in the spotlight after his claims of bullying against World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and his organisation. Hearn has rejected the accusations from the 41-year-old, who begins his second-round match against Shaun Murphy at the Betfred World Championship on Thursday.O'Sullivan has been snooker's talismanic figure for many years, and two-time world champion Mark Williams said this week he was "carrying our sport".

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