The grand finals of the Players Tour Championship have been placed in some doubt following unrest in Bangkok, where a number of foreign embassies have warned against travel. A 60 day state of emergency was declared in the Thai capital this week after the latest clashes in a long running dispute between government and opposition forces.
Inside Snooker understands World Snooker has received a letter warning of the potential dangers of going ahead with the tournament, which is scheduled to take place from March 18 to 23 in Bangkok.
Violence stemming from the crackdown on anti-government protests have so far claimed nine lives in Thailand, according to Reuters news agency, although it was also reported yesterday that: “Bangkok appeared normal and people were going about their business as usual with police making no attempt to break up the protests.”
Ronnie O’Sullivan’s £6,000 fine for his behaviour on Twitter sparked a lively discussion backstage at Crondon Park, with interesting points made on both sides. Some felt World Snooker were right to clamp down on tweets which could damage snooker’s reputation; others were concerned the governing body was breaching the players’ right to free expression.
All agreed that there are grey areas left open to interpretation about what constitutes an offensive tweet or is harmful. There was also general agreement that players have a responsibility to their sport as well as themselves.
Neil Robertson was docked a frame for arriving a few minutes late at the Championship League on Tuesday, blaming heavy fog, which caused traffic around Crondon Park to slow. Graeme Dott was the lucky recipient of the frame (and £100) but Robertson won the match 3-2.
On Wednesday, he made another four centuries, taking his tally for the season to a remarkable 74. What is even more notable about this feat is that he is 35 centuries ahead of the player placed second on the seasonal list, Ding Junhui, who has made 39.
Robertson could have had three tons against Ryan Day but broke down on 89, blaming the table for rolling off when he missed a red. So keen is Robertson to get to a century of centuries that he gave the table a hard stare as he left the arena.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn is among those who feel a special presentation is in order if Robertson does get to 100 this season, which is looking increasingly likely.