Snooker star Mark Williams on Wednesday hit out at attempts to ban his unusual break-off shot after easing into the second round of the World Championship with a 10-4 victory over qualifier Sam Craigie.
The three-time champion started to use the shot, which sees him nudge the cue ball into the back of the reds via the bottom cushion, during the Masters tournament in January after becoming annoyed at leaving opponent Shaun Murphy, a noted long-potter, with frame-winning opportunities.
Williams said that an e-mail from the players’ association had been sent to leading snooker figures asking their opinion on whether that particular type of break-off shot, currently within the rules, should be prohibited.
“There’s a lot more going on in the world to worry about [than] my poxy break-off,” Williams said after his latest success at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. “Haven’t they got anything better to do than send e-mails out asking players if they like it and should it get banned?”
“I’ll think of another break-off,” he said. “Why don’t I just smash it into the pack and leave all the reds on for everyone — would they be happy with that?”
“If they ban the break-off, they’ve got to ban rolling up behind baulk colors and rolling up behind the black,” he said.
“It’s not an illegal shot and I don’t see the problem with it. It’s farcical,” said Williams, who now faces fellow veteran former world champion John Higgins.
The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association said that it knew of the e-mail, but added that Williams’ distinctive break had yet to be considered by the governing body’s rules committee.
Williams and Higgins joined another former world champion in Stuart Bingham in reaching the second round.
Bingham needed a final-frame decider to see off China’s Ding Junhui 10-9.
With the match all square at 9-9, Ding missed a red and Bingham made a clinching break of 70.
Meanwhile, Judd Trump confirmed his status as world No. 1 for the start of next season after a 10-4 win over Liam Highfield.
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