Is Mark Selby really the world’s best player?

Much has been made this week on the world rankings with Judd Trump saying he feels he’s been the best player in the last two years.

But from tomorrow Mark Selby will officially become the world’s new number one star, taking over Trump in the world rankings list.

There is a debate to be had. Trump has been snooker’s dominant star in the past two years so is he deserving of losing his world number one crown?

We looked at both sides of the debate asking whether Selby should be the world’s current number one star.

Mark Selby. Picture by Monique Limbos

YES – Selby should be world number one

Mark Selby is the reigning world champion.

The player who wins the World Championship has the title of being ‘champion of the world’ – meaning he/she is the best proven player on the planet.  

That is why the tournament takes place – to decide who is the best player on the world stage. All the other tournaments are a build up to the season ender.

Let’s not forget Selby was just one frame away from reaching the World Championship final in 2020. Only a sensational comeback from Ronnie O’Sullivan denied him that particular glory.

The rankings don’t lie under this prize money system – Selby has now earned more than Judd Trump in a two-year period of ranking events and any other player. The world rankings is based on prize money won, not ranking titles won.

Yes, Trump has looked unstoppable in his golden spell – nobody can dispute that but the very best players do it when it counts, consistently, on the big stage. All snooker players know the best are judged on the major events.

Trump won the World Championship final for the first time in 2019 but has not reached the semi-final at the Crucible in the past two years. How can you claim to be the world’s best when that is the case?

Selby is now a four times world champion (arguable to say he could have had more) because he is a constant winner on the biggest stage. There’s no doubt Trump needs more world titles to his name.

NO – Selby should NOT be world number one

Mark Selby is world champion but the world ranking system is unbalanced with significant weight hinged on the World Championship alone as the prize money is far greater than any other competition.

Judd Trump. Picture courtesy of Monique Limbos

Judd Trump, it could be argued, is the victim of a world rankings system that doesn’t reflect the quality of play or consistency.

Judd Trump has dominated snooker in the past two years winning tournament after tournament it seems. You could run out of superlatives to describe’s Trump’s amazing dominating spell in the game – but this is NOT reflected in the world rankings.

His dominant spell snooker has not seen in generations – this has been dominance of the Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry like eras. At times he has looked unstoppable. In previous eras Trump would still be the world ranked number one by miles.

Let’s put this into numbers – Trump has won TEN ranking events within the past two years breaking all kinds of records in the process. Before the pandemic arrived Trump had broken the record for winning six ranking events in a single season.

No other player has achieved the same amount of success than Trump has in this 2-year period. This means Judd Trump is the ‘real’ world number one.

It’s obvious there is a flaw within the world rankings system.

What do you think?


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