On the day we should have been crowning the 2020 World Champion

Yesterday was the day when the 2020 World Champion should have been crowned, instead, these things happened …

Stephen Hendry interviewed Steve Davis on Instagram

It’s really a great, very enjoyable, interview.

TopicsGoffs  they discuss:

  • Funny memories from Hong Kong
  • What Steve Davis enjoyed most in snooker (the process)
  • How did it start for Steve (Christmas …)
  • When did he realise/accept that he wasn’t the best anymore (it was a long process)
  • How they are all competitive animals and it never goes away
  • The current standard, and who is the best Ronnie or Judd
  • Did Steve have something to say in the way the rackpack was filmed? no. Is it good? yes.
  • Why and how they, as former players, don’t judge players the way fans do
  • Natural ability and perception of it by the fans
  • How Steve came to become a DJ
  • Steve explaining synthesisers to Stephen (that’s funny … Stephen being completely lost, not even knowing what that thing is)
  • Steve’s rivals in the early days
  • Favourite DJ’s
  • Favourite Belgian beer (Steve likes the strong stuff!)
  • Something he still could learn in snooker … surprising answer by Steve: positional play (Ronnie pops in: he thinks he was still better than most today)
  • How do you spot “raw talent”. You can only judge it in matchplay.
  • Goffs, the great Irish crowd and Steve’s proudest moment, three misses and miscalculation
  • Plus Cuetracker “quiz”

And Steve is moderately looking forward to the possible World Championship end July… he’s busy on a second album.

Next Monday, Stephen could possibly get Mark Williams  “on the grill”. It should be fun if it happens!

“Mark Selby” won the Virtual 2020 World Chaùmpionship (source WST)

Honestly, I couldn’t be arsed to watch more than three shots on the first day…

Barry Hearn has big hopes that snooker can return in July (here talking to skysport)

PDC chairman Barry Hearn hopeful darts and snooker will be one of the first sports to return

“There’s a big hope. We have one big advantage is that we can play, for example darts and snooker, we can play within social distancing rules”

Barry Hearn
Barry Hearn is hoping darts and snooker will return sooner than other sports

PDC and WST chairman Barry Hearn says there is a ‘big hope’ for darts and snooker to return so long as they adhere to social distancing rules.

The uncertainty over the return of professional sport continues to play havoc on the calendar due to the coronavirus outbreak. Ongoing rescheduling means the Premier League has been pushed back to August, while there remains uncertainty over the Matchplay, which is due to be staged at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool from July 18-26.

World Snooker announced that this year’s World Championship has been rescheduled to begin on July 31 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

skysports-peter-wright-barry-hearn_4965037
I would imagine that snooker and darts will be two of the earliest sports that can come back with some real sporting action. Barry Hearn

Speaking on Friday’s episode of The Boxing Show on Sky Sports News, Hearn feels darts and snooker may be at an advantage of coming back sooner than any other sports.

“Well there’s a big hope,” said Hearn. “We have one big advantage is that we can play, for example darts and snooker, we can play within social distancing rules.

“We don’t need to be within two metres. It’s quite straightforward, so if you’re looking for a sport to come out of this transitional period, as we ease the lockdown over a period of time, I would imagine that snooker and darts will be two of the earliest sports that can come back with some real sporting action.”

Hearn praised the ingenuity of the PDC in bringing the Home Tour into people’s houses, proving to be a major hit among players and fans.

“There’s lots of other rules that we’ll have to follow, but we started darts at home as a rather creative idea from the PDC, which is on the Sky Sportsapp, as you know. We had a player in Hong Kong playing a guy in Middlesbrough. That was fabulous to watch, the technical quality is not brilliant, but it’s very watchable and it’s something that brings a smile to our face, and a bit of light in our lives,” said the 71-year-old.

Hearn, who underwent surgery after suffering a minor heart attack in early April, added it was important to follow government guidelines before things return to normal.

“I think snooker and darts will be the first to come out and we’re preparing papers for government at the moment to say – this is plan A, but we then move to plan B, which is perhaps limited audiences, and then plan C, the land of milk and honey, back to normal,” said Hearn.

“But it’s going to take time and we have to do what’s right within government guidelines. We have to listen, we have to learn and we have to follow the rules that our leaders dictate, and we’re very happy to do that, but we will be creative, because our sports are self-employed people – the same with boxers – they need to be in action to earn their money.

How Barry Hearn can think that snooker can  be played whilst abiding by social distancing rules, I don’t know. Players share a table and a set of balls. Matches at the World championship go on for hours. They constantly touch the table, and regularly handle the white ball as well. So unless they play in full surgical gloves – which surely isn’t an option – I can’t see how that works.

4 thoughts on “On the day we should have been crowning the 2020 World Champion

  1. It’s not so much ‘social distancing’ rules that make it feasible. It’s more that the limited number of people present at a match can be so low that they can be tested.

    Anyway, this obsession with ‘social distancing’ is a little overblown. The ‘2 metres rule’ doesn’t mean that people are guaranteed not to catch coronavirus. As with many things, it’s about reducing risk to acceptable levels to avoid exponential growth of patients who require intensive care.

    But of course the focus of all of Barry Hearn’s interviews and conferences is to make the best case he can for staging events.

    Anyways, the tone of the debate (led by the media) in UK right now is how quickly we can get out of lockdown. People don’t have the patience to endure this for much longer. In that sense I think there’s a very good chance of holding some kind of snooker tournament in late-July, but likely without a full crowd (if any). I still haven’t heard about qualifiers (e.g. a venue booking), a concern for overseas players who have to decide whether to return and face a 14-day quarantine, which is now the requirement.

    • UK is currently the worst of all countries in the European continent. There is no way the lockdown should be lifted or even relaxed. As for snooker, if ONE player or referee were to become seriously ill or worse, it would harm the sport well beyond any delay would. Even if that person didn’t catch it at the event and it’s just a timing coincidence, it would be disastrous. And it’s not so much about the two meters indeed. Players constantly touch the same surface – the table – and I very much doubt that in the context of a stressful match you can expect them to control themselves not to touch their face or mouth.

      • Yes, and that makes snooker tournaments no less safe than any other workplace situation in August, and much safer than most. We just have to get used to the notion of ‘risk’. Continuing a lockdown that long isn’t politically sustainable.

        We will see what the situation is in the next few weeks, but delaying snooker until after football has resumed would be a huge own-goal for snooker, so to speak.

      • Football shouldn’t resume either. Not yet. It’s certainbly not “essential” in any way. That’s putting money over people’s lives. Dead people can’t be brought back to life. Even hard hit the economy can be rebuilt, and will. Especially as everyone is more or less in the same boat. Here in Greece they were very strict and still are. although they have started reopening things gradually last week. Number of cases are less than 10 on a daily basis for some time now and International flights are still heavily regulated and quarantine is mandatoriy for incoming visitors. And that in a country where tourism is probably the most important source of income. On the islands, foreign tourism will probably not resume before mid-July. It is difficult of course, but not unsustainable, people accept it. The thing is, people here have not got mixed messages, the outbreak has not been downplayed, and the government has not taken half baked measures too late and only when forced to because the situation was getting out of control. They communicated and acted right from the start. Mind you, they even got the churches closed (still are) and believe me that’s quite something in this country.

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