SEVEN-TIMES world snooker champion Stephen Hendry has told a national radio station he would consider the possibility of returning to the sport but only if he was eligible to do so.
The Scot, who announced his retirement from the sport following the 2012 World Championship, told TalkSport presenter Andy Goldstein he would think about the prospect of playing at a top event next season only if he would be given a special wildcard to play.
But Hendry, who is regarded by many inside the game as possibly the greatest player to embrace the game, ruled out any chance of him playing in the post-season Q School event which guarantees winners a professional tour card.
“I would need to be in a position for Barry Hearn to give us a wildcard because I ain’t going to Q School,” he said.
“I would consider playing in the odd event just for fun. If there was like special wildcard which would allow players to enter top events, like in golf, then I’d certainly think about it.
“I’m not saying definitely but I would think about it. But I must admit it I’m starting to get the odd twinges (of missing the game) but only on Sunday nights when they are giving out the prizes.
“I wish the new system came out two or three years ago so you could pick and choose (tournaments) because the rankings is all about money.”
But following Hendry’s interview, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn told the station the rule book would not be broken to make way for a possible return.
“I told Stephen years ago it was a terrible decision to retire, he was too good to retire,” he said.
“Stephen coming back would be marvellous but there are rules and those rules can’t be broken. So in the same case as Steve Davis and Jimmy White who are desperately fighting to stay on the tour this year, we can’t make exceptions.
“For anybody wanting to play on the tour on a regular basis they have to be a tour card holder which in Stephen’s case would inevitably and definitely mean going to Q School.
“However, because Stephen is a member of the WPBSA there is a chance he could enter the World Championship Qualifiers as a one-off. So the door is slightly open but we can’t change the rules for anyone and that includes Stephen Hendry.
“Rules are very clearly laid out and it is the same for everybody. You can’t make special exceptions and set dangerous precedents like that.”
Hendry later took to Twitter to backdown any suggestion of a potential comeback. He tweeted: “Just to be clear I’m not playing.”
Would you like to see Stephen Hendry return to snooker? Good idea or bad idea?