Shaun Murphy will not be competing in this year’s Paul Hunter Classic as he is suffering from a ‘serious injury’, it has emerged.
According to the World Snooker website, the 2005 world champion has been replaced by Ricky Walden in the 16-man invitational event which takes place this weekend.
Murphy had been scheduled to play an exhibition match against Kyren Wilson in Belgium just days after the Paul Hunter Classic but it was announced that six times world snooker champion Steve Davis would take his place due to an injury he sustained.
The extent of Murphy’s ‘serious injury’ , as it has been described, is not yet clear but news of it emerged on the VSF Snooker Facebook page.
A statement translated to English says: “Unfortunately, yesterday evening Shaun Murphy was forced to withdraw from the exhibition planned on next Tuesday, 27 of August 2019 in Overijse, citing a serious injury.”
Murphy was then soon replaced by Walden in the draw for the Paul Hunter Classic.
Snooker legend Willie Thorne tweeted: “What’s happened to Shaun Murphy, did anyone know?
It has also come to light that Matthew Stevens has pulled out of the weekend event, for reasons unclear.
Welshman Stevens was due to play Barry Hawkins in the first round but Hawkins will face World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson instead.