It is a shame large chunks of the media only ever want to cover snooker when there is a match-fixing story – and knowing sports editors as I do, can’t see that changing for a couple of them any time soon even if some are fairer in their coverage.
But the other side of snooker, the one we see almost every day and in every match, is the sportsmanship on show from players from top to bottom of the rankings during the contests when fouls are habitually called on themselves and other courtesies shown to an opponent in all manner of ways.
And there was a further but different example of this late on Thursday night at the International Championship in Chengdu. Earlier that evening Mark Williams and Mark Allen had fought like tigers to get through their respective quarter-finals against Ronnie O’Sullivan and Michael White – and more of the same could be expected in their Saturday semi-final, when no quarter would be asked or given in a huge match for both.
But that was for another day. And the pair could be seen cheerily shooting the breeze about the day’s events in the hotel lobby until 1.30am over a shared McDonalds takeaway.