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Mark Selby hails tighter pockets following World Championship “mockery”

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Selby looks on (PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Mark Selby has welcomed the introduction of tighter pockets this season after what he described as a “mockery” at the World Snooker Championship.

The apparent generosity of the corner pockets came under fire by viewers and players during various events last season, most notably at The Crucible.

Seven-time World Champion Stephen Hendry revealed in commentary at the British Open earlier this week: “I’ve been texted by one of the top players in the world to say ‘they are brand new tables this year with a brand new cut of pocket’.”

Selby was one player left bemused by a wide pocket during his World Championship clash with John Higgins in April, and the world number five has praised the condition of the tables this term.

“The last two matches I’ve played on the TV table, it’s been quite good,” Selby told ITV Sport.

“I played on Table Two or Three the other day and the conditions were quite bouncy, which is mad really when you think it’s only twenty feet apart in the same room.

“It’s amazing how two tables can play so differently.

“No complaints with the match table, I feel the pockets are playing a little bit more nippier but I think I prefer that.

“If you look at the World Championship, there were some balls that should never ever go in and for people watching at home, it sort of makes a mockery of the sport.

“You’ve got to be accurate now, which is good.”

Selby sealed his spot in the Semi-Finals of the British Open with a narrow 5-4 victory over Jack Lisowski in Cheltenham on Friday and will now meet China’s Xiao Guodong for a place in the final.

On facing Xiao, Selby added: “I’ve played him a few times and he’s always been playing to a decent level, he scores really well.

“You don’t seem to see him for half a season then he’ll pop up in a Quarter-Final or Semi-Final.

“I’m a bit disappointed, I’d have liked to have played Tom [Ford] because then at least one of us would have been in the final, but not to be and I’ll look forward to tomorrow.”


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