Anthony Hamilton withdraws from the World Championship

The news has been announced by multiple sources.

Here is the BBC reporting on it:

World Snooker Championship: Anthony Hamilton withdraws over health concerns, says Barry Hearn

Anthony Hamilton
Hamilton has reached the World Championship quarter-finals four times

Anthony Hamilton has withdrawn from the World Championship because of coronavirus health concerns, World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn says.

The tournament begins on Friday and will be the first indoor sporting event with crowds since lockdown, with around 300 people attending each session.

The 49-year-old Hamilton, who suffers from severe asthma, had been due to face Kyren Wilson in the first round.

“He is worried about his own health,” Hearn told Talksport.

“The question I pose is why did he not withdraw before the qualifying competition, because by getting through the qualifiers he has effectively stopped someone else from going and earning a living.

“He entered a competition knowing while he was in that competition, he knew there was going to be fans present.

“Why did he not withdraw then instead of knocking someone else out and stopping them earning a living, instead of withdrawing afterwards so that we’re a player short?

“He hasn’t had asthma that started yesterday. He’s had asthma and health issues for some time.”

Hamilton is expected to confirm his withdrawal in a statement later on Thursday.

Hamilton booked his place in the final stages of the tournament for the first time in 12 years with a 10-5 win against Scott Donaldson in the final qualifying round on Monday.

But the world number 48 called the decision to allow spectators at the Crucible “ridiculous” and said he would “definitely not” have played in the qualifiers had they been staged in similar circumstances.

Hamilton, who will still receive £20,000 for qualifying, withdrew from the Tour Championship – the first event that was played on the sport’s return – because of health concerns and called the decision to allow people to take off their masks in the auditorium “a mad thing”.

Honestly, Barry Hearn questions are a bit silly. Why did he enter? Because, as it stands it’s £20000 in his pocket. Players are self-employed, when not playing they earn nothing. They haven’t got many opportunities to play since March, but the bills still need paying and they need to eat. Anthony is 48 and probably hasn’t that many years left in him. Players in his situation can’t really pass on the opportunity to earn £20000. Add to that that until recently, it looked almost certain that there would be no crowd at the Crucible, and certainly not as much as 300+ of them. Anthony claims that had he known at the time of entering the qualifiers he would have given it a miss. So, that’s Kyren Wison through to the last 16. He won’t complain I guess.

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Anthony Hamilton withdraws from the World Championship

  1. Wilson SHOULD complain and demand for an opponent or threat with a withdraw. At least that’s fairplay and what Ronnie would suggest if in given situation, as he did it before many times in similar situations. It’s funny how now it is everyone’s fault but Hamilton’s. Btw for the first time I agree with sth Judd Trump says, ha ha.

    • From reactions of other players, it was not made clear to them before they entered the qualifiers, that spectators would not be checked, nor that they would be allowed to remove their masks once sat. It was also not clear that there would be as much as 350 persons in the room. Hamilton had every intention to play, as reported by both Hector Nunns and David Hendon. Easing the measures was what changed his stance. It’s not his fault.

    • Yup. Well that to me means one thing: he would prefer not to have to face Ronnie … Because let’s be honest, he never seemed to care that much about lower ranked players missing opportunities. And he’s not been doing himself any favour. Some bloggers who usually support him were far from impressed.

  2. Wow, what a reaction from Barry… I almost can’t believe it.

    From Hamiltons standpoint I completely understand his decision. Especially since the audience is not required to wear masks in the arena. I’m not sure at what time point the rules were communicated to the players, but it was only posted on the WST website that wearing masks was not mandatory when the qualifiers were already underway! Which is too late in my opinion.

    I also agree with you that Hamilton has to pay his bills, so it was his right to compete in the qualifiers. Sad for Hamilton of course but I find it a good thing that he pulls out in some way because it clearly shows that players are not comfortable with playing when 350 people (my god, I still can’t believe that they allow so many people!) are allowed.

    • To add to this, the message below was published on Hamiltons withdrawal on the WST website:

      ““I want to apologise to my opponents at the qualifiers, Sam Craigie and Scott Donaldson, and assure them that I had every intention of playing at the Crucible. But it was only after I finished the qualifying rounds that I was able to do a full personal risk assessment based on the latest information and discussions with WST.”

      Clearly, players were not informed earlier on the exact rules and regulations for the crowd. This is such a big mistake from Barry and the organizers in my opinion. Now Hamilton is feeling guilty towards Craigie and Donaldson for not playing and has to apologize whereas it should be the other way around, Barry and WST should apologize for lack of communication regarding the rules.

      Anyway, let’s hope for the best from now on.

  3. I’m disappointed in Barry Hearn’s comments. A little compassion would have been nice. Perhaps Anthony wasn’t informed there would be 300 fans there without temperature checks and allowed to take their masks off once inside the venue. Not impressed. It actually wouldn’t surprise me to see one or two other players do the same.

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