“I was a little bit disappointed with Stu because I feel like I get on well with him.”
Snooker world champion Mark Selby has revealed he was “hurt” by Stuart Bingham’s “gamesmanship” comments, after their semi-final match.
Selby was speaking in the aftermath of sealing a fourth World Championship title in front of a packed Crucible crowd, defeating Shaun Murphy 18-15.
Selby on Bingham’s comments.
Nevertheless, Selby’s world championship victory wasn’t without controversy during his run to the final.
Selby was warned by referee Ben Williams for slow play during his semi-final victory over Bingham, after taking over three minutes on a shot.
After the game, his opponent accused the 37-year-old of “gamesmanship”, something Selby was not too happy with.
“I was a little bit disappointed with Stu because I feel like I get on well with him,” Selby told Eurosport podcast The Break.
“He dug me out, saying, ‘Is it gamesmanship?’ and that he’d lost a little bit of respect for me by the way I was doing it.
“I never ever go into a match to pull a stroke or put somebody off. That’s just not in my nature. I go out there and try my hardest.
“I was a little bit disappointed in Stu saying that, but at the same time, he’s just come off the table, and then you get a microphone shoved straight in your face.
“You look at some of the football managers who say the wrong things at the wrong times – it’s not easy to do an interview straight after you’ve lost.
“The last thing you want to do is probably an interview straight away.
“I’m sure if they’d interviewed him after a few hours, and he’d thought about what he wanted to say, I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t have come out with the stuff he came out with in the interview.”
However, Selby was eager to say that he would accept an apology, although Bingham’s comments did take him aback, considering the world champion texted his fellow player after he was banned in 2017 for betting on snooker games.
“I hold nothing against him. If I see him, I probably won’t go up to him and speak to him straight away because I felt what he said was a little bit harsh about me,” Selby added.
“If he apologises, then it’s just water under the bridge. I’d never ignore him. If I see him, I’d say hello. I was just a bit taken aback.
“A few years ago, he got banned for six or seven months, which was quite harsh. I was one of the few people texting him saying, ‘I hope you’re OK, mate. Keep your chin up. You’ll come back stronger’.
“For him to mention [gamesmanship] in the interview was a little bit hurtful. That’s life. I’m not going to lose too much sleep over it.”