Snooker bosses considering hosting World Championships without fans over coronavirus fears


Snooker bosses have discussed the possibility of playing the World Championship behind closed doors.

The worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus has already seen many sporting events cancelled or postponed.

Currently the annual 17-day tournament at the Crucible in Sheffield is still due to take place as normal next month.

But despite the tens of thousands of tickets sold there are last-resort contingency plans in place should the situation deteriorate in the coming weeks.

The China Open, normally the last tour tournament to take place before the blue-riband spectacle, was one of the first sporting events to be cancelled.

Meanwhile, Judd Trump knows winning the Gibraltar Open this week could bring records and riches.



The upcoming snooker World Championships could take place behind closed doors due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak

The world No1 is looking to make the most century breaks ever seen in a single season – topping the 103 rattled in by Neil Robertson six years ago.

Reigning world champion Trump, 30, currently stands on 88 with three tournaments still to play – on the ‘Rock’, the Tour Championship and finally the World Championship.

At his current spectacular strike-rate a decent run in Gibraltar would set Trump up to smash the record at the Crucible.

But there is also big money at stake in the last of the four-event BetVictor European series.

Should Trump lift the trophy and Australian Robertson fail to get past the semi-finals then he can snatch a £150,000 bonus as well as the £50,000 first prize.



Judd Trump won last year’s tournament, defeating John Higgins in the final

Trump, who will defend his debut world title next month, became the first player in history to earn more than £1million last season.

And he has already pocketed £778,000 this term with still also £500,000 up for grabs for the winner in Sheffield.

He said: “The centuries record gets mentioned quite a bit and it is quite a big deal in the snooker world.

“Neil was the first to get to 100 in a season a few years ago and it would be nice to get into the same group as him.

“It is tough to do, very tough and it probably won’t be many times in my life that I am in a position to do it.



The 2020 China Open snooker has been cancelled due to coronavirus
The 2020 China Open snooker has already been cancelled due to coronavirus

“Obviously now I have got so close and it has been going on for a month or two it would be nice to just put it to bed and get that out of the way.

“If the China Open was on and had not been cancelled I would say certainly it should have been done and dusted by the World Championship.

“I need another 12 and there are a lot of players who don’t make 12 in a season.

“I need good runs in both events before the worlds but I imagine if I had a good run in one of them I would be able to knock a good five or six off at least and get halfway there.

“When I am on a century I am in the zone and completely forget what is happening about the record. It isn’t until after I come off the table and get reminded!

“It will be very hard to avoid now, I am always going to know roughly – it’s not going to be suddenly like ‘I’m on a hundred’.

“I’m always going to know within a couple and I imagine I will probably be able to tell by the crowd’s reaction at some point if I make it.”





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