Mark Selby out of World Snooker Championship amid sportsmanship row and longest frame ever

April 24, 2022
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Mark Shelby has failed to defend his Betfred World Championship title after being knocked out of the competition on Saturday by Yan Bingtao.

Bingtao’s 13-10 victory was full of action, including the longest ever Crucible frame and also accusations that the Chinese star was being unsporting at one point in the match. His victory means that he will face three-time champion, Mark Williams, in the next round.

The pair made history in the 22nd frame by engaging in a frame that lasted 85 minutes and 22 seconds, the longest in Crucible history. Bingtao eventually won the frame after an impressive 112 break which then put him on course to secure victory.

The 22-year-old was also labelled as unsporting in the 18th round after he asked the referee to clean the white in a tight pocket when attempting to pot the brown. The request was refused by referee Rob Spencer, though it did leave many – including Shelby – stunned.

Eurosport pundit and six-time World Championship finalist Jimmy White was vocal in his dissatisfaction with Bingtao’s request. He said: “Now that is an unwritten rule amongst professional snooker players. Fair play to Rob Spencer for saying ‘no, I’m not going to clean the cue ball’ in this situation.

“Because he could put that cue ball back slightly wrong and then Bingtao can have an easy shot at this brown. But as it turns out he could pot the brown. It is something you don’t do. It might have been Bingtao being under pressure and thinking of anything to win, but you don’t do that in snooker.”

Bingtao and Selby played out an 85 minute frame
Bingtao and Selby played out an 85 minute frame

But Selby didn’t hold a grudge against his opponent and was full of praise for China’s Bingtao after the match. He told BBC Sport: “Yan is just a great all-round player, you have to beat him, he doesn't give anything to you.

“You have seen that from start to finish and he plays some very clever shots. I have a lot of respect for him. I wish I was as good at his age.

“For me, he has the game to go on and win it. Here, to not be scoring and not be at your best, you have to scrap it out and he showed that."

This post appeared first on Daily Star - Snooker.

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