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O'Sullivan slams young players for poor standards

FILE PHOTO: Snooker - BetVictor Welsh Open Final - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales - 21/2/16 Ronnie O'Sullivan in action during the final Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Rebecca Naden Livepic

(Reuters) - Former world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday.

The Briton, who turned professional in 1992, will face Mark Williams at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Monday after beating Ding Junhui 13-10.

When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, he said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen for it to change.

“You look at them and think, ‘I would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50’. That is why we are still hovering around, because of how poor it is down that end,” the outspoken, five-time world champion said.

“If you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really... They are so bad.”

O’Sullivan courted controversy before the tournament when he said players were being treated like “lab rats” as he questioned a decision to allow spectators into the Crucible Theatre amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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