Ronnie 'O'Sullivan can do what he wants: Sam Craigie backs the Rocket after criticism

November 17, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  


2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 5
Sam Craigie sympathises with Ronnie O’Sullivan (Picture: Getty Images)

Sam Craigie feels Ronnie O’Sullivan can ‘do what he wants’ as he is the player that ‘sells the tickets and brings the money in’, amid criticism of the Rocket from Shaun Murphy.

The world champion came under fire from the Magician for claiming that he doesn’t care much about how well he plays and if he wins or loses at the moment.

Murphy also feels the world number one could use his huge profile to promote the sport more and help it grow and develop to the benefit of players and fans alike.

‘It is extremely irritating,’ said Murphy. ‘Ronnie in particular has one of the biggest platforms in the world. I just wish he would use it to help make the game better.

‘It does sometimes feel that most of the tour are pulling in a similar direction and others – and he’s not on his own – are just out for themselves.

However, Craigie doesn’t see it that way, sympathising with O’Sullivan falling out of love with the game on occasions, while the Rocket’s impact is so huge that he does not need to do any more.

‘When it comes to doing things for the sport he’s the one that sells the tickets, he’s the one that brings the money in really,’ Craigie told The Mirror. ‘Maybe he could do more but he can do what he wants. He’s the man that everyone wants to beat and if it wasn’t for him who knows how many tickets venues would sell.

‘I’m the same so I get it. There’s so many times snooker gets to you, he’s been through it in the past when he was younger so when you’re winning it’s hard to be really happy. The other side of it is really bad so you just have to take it in your stride.’


2022 Cazoo British Open - Day 5
Ronnie O’Sullivan is eyeing-up an eighth UK Championship title this week (Picture: Getty Images)

Craigie is enjoying a fine run at the UK Championship this week, booking his place in the quarter-finals where he will meet Mark Allen on Friday. O’Sullivan is on the other side of the draw, due to take on Ding Junhui in his own last eight meeting.

The 28-year-old from Newcastle says playing O’Sullivan is entirely different to any other player on tour, providing a unique mental challenge.

‘On his own level, you can’t even describe it,’ said Craigie of the Rocket. ‘You play some of the other top players and they just don’t put you under that sort of pressure.

‘I don’t know how he does it – he’s just got something and gives off his energy that puts you bang under it.’

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