Judd Trump has criticised players who play negative break-off shots and urged them to remember snooker is entertainment.
The world number one was speaking after Mark Williams caused a stir at the World Championship, starting his match with Sam Craigie by rolling the cue ball down the table so it nestled underneath the reds.
There is nothing in the rules against Williams’ shot – he is not the only player to attempt it – and it is an ideal strategy to avoid leaving a long red on, which often happens from a conventional break.
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The World Snooker Tour have written to players to seek their views on the controversial strategy, but Trump says it is not going to help the sport attract new fans.
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“It’s not something I would ever do and it’s just so negative,” Trump told Eurosport’s Neal Foulds.
“Being so outspoken about how I want to improve the game and make it more exciting, it’s certainly not something I’m a big fan of.”
Trump cruised into the second round in Sheffield with a 10-4 win over Liam Highfield and said his break-offs were flawless.
“If you’re that worried, then just spend a couple of days breaking off in a more attacking way,” he said, addressing players who might be tempted to play safe in the future.
“I’m not sure Liam could even see a ball off every single one of my break-offs in the whole game."
The 2019 world champion admitted a ban may not be the solution, explaining there were multiple ways to break off negatively, but hoped his fellow professionals would see it is harming the game.
“If you say you’ve got to hit the balls directly, rather than using a cushion, then you can obviously lay up to them softly again. It’s not an easy one,” he said.
“For me, the players should know that it’s entertainment. You’ve got people watching.
“I’ve seen a couple of the frames and to be honest I turned it off because to sit there for four or five minutes every single frame is not good to watch.
“I know the balls get open at some point, but if you add that up over the whole match – five minutes every single frame – you’re adding a couple of hours onto every single game.”
Trump will face Dave Gilbert in the second round at the Crucible, with the first session slated for Sunday at 10:00 BST.
'I’m sick and tired of it' – Williams defends 'perfectly legal' break
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