Jimmy White slams ‘ludicrous’ World Championship format

Jimmy White and other snooker legends including Ronnie O’Sullivan have slammed the format of the World Championship saying the semi-final stages are too long.

Jimmy White. Picture by Monique Limbos

The popular six-times World Championship finalist made the controversial comments just moments after Mark Williams clinched his place in the grand final at the Crucible after beating Barry Hawkins 17-15 just before midnight.

Eurosport pundit Neal Foulds also said the tournament was too long and guest pundit and current world number one and three-times world champion Mark Selby agreed the semi-final stages should not be held over three days.

Five-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan also made similar remarks during a commentary stint for Eurosport.

As is tradition each World Championship semi-final is played over three days in a best of 33 frames.Both matches start on the Thursday and are scheduled to come to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon or evening.

But due to the late finish for Mark Williams and potential tiredness, the Eurosport pundits said Higgins has a clear advantage going into the start of the World Championship final.

White called the format of the semi-final stages “ludicrous” when speaking to presenter Colin Murray.

He said: “The advantage has gone to John Higgins (because) they’ve (Mark Williams and Barry Hawkins) had such a gruelling night. They played eight frames in four and a half hours – John Higgins is now going to have a nice rest, chilled out.

“My advice to Mark Williams – he needs to sleep in to around about 11am because when he gets back to the hotel he wont be able to get any sleep for another two hours because he’ll still be buzzing.

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

“I agree with Neal Foulds, Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan, it is far too long to have a semi-final over three days and have the final over two days – its ludicrous.”

Selby, who lost in the first round of this year’s Crucible showdown to Joe Perry, said he would like to see the first and second round as first to ten frames matches and then the quarter and semi-final as first to 13 frames games.

Foulds admitted the comments made would prove to be very controversial among many snooker fans.



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