Sports

‘He is about 85% wrong’ – Alan McManus feels Shaun Murphy wrong to voice anger over amateurs


Alan McManus and Jimmy White feel Shaun Murphy was wrong in voicing his displeasure over amateurs playing on the main tour, but do not believe his comments were sour grapes.

Murphy crashed out of the UK Championship at the hands of Chinese youngster Si Jiahui, and said following the 6-5 defeat that his opponent should not have been in the building.
Neil Robertson also tasted defeat at the hands of an amateur in the shape of John Astley, and the Australian suggested Murphy had a valid argument.

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McManus feels Murphy was largely in the wrong, as the tour needs to fill the draw as opposed to giving players byes.

“He is about 85% wrong,” McManus said in the Eurosport studio at the Barbican in York. “His gripe is that in his mind, [Si Jiahui] is playing without the pressure of a ranking position. But there are a few flipsides. One of them is Shaun won this event 13 years ago, he is a top player and on the main table.

“He did have some back trouble. Shaun did not mention it, but it was a factor.

“We have to fill up the draw. We have only got 122 on the Tour. It’s a lot better than giving byes.

“With the way the world has been, there are players not able to travel the world to compete. That’s why there are fewer numbers and we have to fill them.

“It is not sour grapes. Shaun is probably the most gracious loser of a match. He is disappointed in his performance. He was 5-1 behind and got it back to 5-5 and did not get the job done.

“He is just pretty gutted. He knows how big an event it is. He will be back.”

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White says snooker is no different to other sports in having amateurs take part, and feels the players outside of the main tour need the chance to gain experience.

“You have got in loads of golf tournaments you have amateurs,” White said. “In Wimbledon you have amateurs.

“They have to get experience. There is a Q Tour that has just started, but apart from that there is Q School after the World Championship. So there is not a lot of chance for these guys to get experience.

“I get it, he got beaten. It might have been the heat of the moment and I like it that he speaks his mind, but at the end of the day he should have won that match.”

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