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Judd Trump slams 'selfish' Anthony Hamilton for withdrawal over Covid fears

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Trump and Hamilton

Image credit: Eurosport

ByTom Bennett
30/07/2020 at 13:47 | Updated 30/07/2020 at 13:56
@tommbennett

Judd Trump has criticised Anthony Hamilton for his decision to withdraw from the Snooker World Championship over coronavirus health concerns.

Hamilton pulled out of the event on Thursday, having gone through qualifying last week.

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The Snooker World Championship is one of the UK Government’s designated test events, which will see fans come back to sporting events in small numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hamilton had previously expressed his concern over the situation, and on Thursday confirmed his withdrawal, but Judd Trump believes there was enough notice for him to make a less “selfish” decision.

“I find it very hard on the other people that he has taken the opportunity from," Trump said.

I think this was announced with enough time to know that there was going to be a crowd during this tournament. Before the qualifying started, he should have just pulled out completely and given someone else a chance. He was playing under no pressure to qualify when everyone was trying their life out to get there.

“If I was Scott Donaldson (who Hamilton beat in qualifying) I’d be very annoyed," Trump continued. "On one hand, he had the chance to beat him and you could say he was beaten fair and square. But Anthony Hamilton will have known in the back of his head that he wasn’t playing in this event so he had no pressure compared to some of the other players, including Scott, who is trying his life out to get there for the second time.

“Anthony was on a free roll, with no pressure knowing that he isn’t going to turn up, which is completely unfair and I don’t think any player should be that selfish to do that.

World Snooker have already put on a couple of tournaments and they have given people more opportunities than any other sport at the moment. It is fantastic what they are doing, but people need to think of the bigger picture sometimes and try not to be selfish and give others the opportunity to provide as well.

“There is a lot of money to be played for in this tournament. A low of the low ranked players struggle to put food on the table and especially with things going on, you’ve got to try and earn a living."

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Hamilton has received support for his decision from Ronnie O'Sullivan, who has spoken out about his reticence to play in-front of test crowds.

"I defy anybody if they have been keeping their distance from people for four months to say, oh right, now you've got to go into a room full of people - unless you have got a death wish, and some people have in many ways and they just don't care," O'Sullivan said.

I don't think it's a risk worth taking. I have the option not to play but I've decided to play. Maybe with 5,000 fans I could see it's a bit of an income you're going to lose, but 200 fans, is it really?

"Maybe they have to start doing a test on crowds at some point and I've heard people say they're treating the snooker event a little bit like lab rats - you've got to start somewhere, start with snooker players. Less insurance to pay out for Anthony Hamilton than there is for Lewis Hamilton."

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