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Ronnie O’Sullivan proposes shot-clock solution to tackle Mark Selby’s slow play

ronnie o'sullivan

“Some players want to play the game, free-flowing and that.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan has proposed a potential shot-clock solution to tackle slow play in snooker, as the fallout from Mark Selby’s warning continues.

Selby was warned about his slow play by referee Ben Williams during his World Championship semi-final victory over Stuart Bingham.

Ronnie O’Sullivan on Mark Selby.

After the three-time champion took over three minutes deliberating on a shot, referee Williams stepped in to tell Selby: “This has been going on for over three minutes now, you do need to think about taking a stroke”.

The frame itself took over an hour to complete before Bingham eventually pounced on a loose safety shot from Selby to continue his run of frames won.

O’Sullivan believes that there has to be a collective will from snooker authorities to fix the issue of slow play and he came up with a few potential solutions, including a shot-clock.

“It’s difficult you know – he’s out there to do what he has to do and sometimes he feels like he has to take that time to win a match,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

“Some players want to play the game, free-flowing and that… I just think if you really want to do something about it, and it was a bit of an issue, I think in tennis they have a shot clock on the serve so if it goes over a certain time, they know that that time is there to get the shot done.

“And I think in golf they are on about maybe rewarding the most watchable, the people who bring excitement to the fans, so the fans can vote and they get paid a bit extra.

“So if you can incentivise the players to play in a different way, if that’s what the sport wants, then that could be a way around it in some way.

“So you can allow them to do what they want to do, whether you have the shot clock on there or some sort of way.”

O’Sullivan on Selby-Murphy final.

Selby is taking on Shaun Murphy in the Crucible final and ahead of the game, O’Sullivan warned Murphy he’ll need a rest after playing Selby in a best-of-35 match.

“If Murphy wins this tournament, he is going to be sitting here thinking, ‘I need a year off’, because that is what Selby is going to do to him,” O’Sullivan added.

“If Selby doesn’t win it, Murphy isn’t going to be sitting here going, ‘oh that was enjoyable’. He’s going to be sitting here going, ‘that was horrible’. And it will take him a while to feel normal again. That’s how bad he wants it.

“How do you take that out of someone? You are going to have to scrape him off and then pick him up. It’s going to be fun!”

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