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Ronnie O’Sullivan wants lockdown for “another five years”

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A new-look O’Sullivan sported a mustache in MK

Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he is “enjoying” lockdown and hopes it will continue for the next five years.

The five-time World Champion returned to competitive action at the recent Championship League after a four-month absence, bowing out at the Winners’ Group stage.

O’Sullivan was among a star-studded line-up in the behind-closed-doors tournament in Milton Keynes and donned a new look for the occasion, with his mustache leading some to liken him to ‘Freddie Mercury’ and ‘El Chapo’.

The Rocket, however, said he struggled to get to grips with the “bubble” environment at the Marshall Arena in which players were not permitted to leave the site and had to eat in their hotel rooms.

“I’ve got to be off my head coming here, haven’t I?” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I’ve been sat in my room for 24 hours.

“I’ve done 16 hours in a cell once, and it was better because I got to choose my own food!

“But listen it gets you out of the house, but I’ve enjoyed being at home. It’s good fun.”

O’Sullivan, who was beaten 3-0 by Stuart Bingham in Winners’ Group B on Tuesday, perhaps jokingly suggested he has been enjoying lockdown and wants to see it extended.

He added: “I’ve really been enjoying the lockdown.

“Talking about snooker and talking about this and that, I want the lockdown to go on for another five years if it can!

“I played the Semi-Finals of the Welsh Open, and a couple of exhibitions, but other than that I’ve only played for four or five hours.

“Just shows you that you maybe don’t need the practice.”

O’Sullivan skipped The Masters in January, and should he opt to participate, his next tournament appearance would be the World Championship at The Crucible, which is scheduled to take place from July 31 to August 16.

It remains to be seen whether the sport’s show-piece event will be played behind closed doors, in front of a reduced capacity crowd, or without a crowd entirely.