Jamie Clarke hoping for drama of Crucible debut on World Snooker Championship return

April 13, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Jamie Clarke
Jamie Clarke is back on snooker’s biggest stage (Picture: Rex/WST)

Jamie Clarke intends to ‘do exactly the same as I did last time’ on his return to the Crucible after his memorable World Snooker Championship debut in 2020.

The Welshman was a shock debutant two years ago and he stunned Mark Allen 10-8 in the first round, despite the Pistol firing in five centuries.

Then the drama really begun, with against Anthony McGill in the last 16 when Clarke led 7-2 before a confrontation with the Scot over standing in his eyeline.

McGill wasn’t happy, Clarke was confused, and the Glaswegian came back to win the match 13-12, but only after Jamie spiced things up by tweeting in the mid-session interval: ’You want to dance, let’s dance’.

Far from stung by going on to lose the match, Clarke is hoping to rustle up plenty more drama this time around after coming through qualifying on Wednesday night with a 10-8 win over Graeme Dott.

He is thrilled to be back, this time playing in front of a crowd, and ready to have some fun.

‘It means everything [to be back at the Crucible,’ Clarke told the BBC. ‘I obviously qualified a couple of years ago but there were no crowds. Now I can have my family, friends, I’ll have absolutely everyone up there and if I lose 10-0 then so be it.

‘I’d probably do exactly the same as I did last time. I really enjoyed the media side, having fun on Twitter during the matches, I really had fun playing under no pressure, it was all a free roll.

‘This time it’ll be exactly the same, I’m going to go out there and enjoy every single minute because you never know if you’ll get back there again.

‘That’s it really, go and enjoy it because life’s too short. Last year I played Mark Allen and I was tweeting all the way through. When I won everything was great, then when I tweeted against Anthony McGill it was all bad, so I’m going to do exactly the same as I did last time, I’m going to tweet every frame this time I think.’

Jamie Clarke
Clarke, the world number 66, will fancy his chances against anyone in round one (Picture: Rex/WST)

Clarke had to win three qualifying games to make the Crucible in 2020 and that is what he has done again this time around.

Both time he needed wins just to stay on tour, but he has proved he is more than good enough to be on the professional circuit and compete with the best in Sheffield.

‘I loved it, I wouldn’t change anything. Even though I got beat, I think I did pretty well for nigh-on an amateur to get to the last 16 and nearly the quarter-final,’ he said.

‘If I get beat 10-0 this time or I win, it doesn’t matter, I’ve had an unbelievable tournament and I’m still on the tour and that’s all that matters.’

Clarke has been something of a star of the qualifying rounds, with a hearty ‘Get in!’ after his first win over Si Jiahui and flopping to the floor after beating Dott.

The Crucible crowd have plenty to look forward to with the Welshman returning to the sport’s most famous venue.

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