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John Higgins on Crucible debate: “What’s the point in moving?”

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Higgins overcame Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-7 on Wednesday (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

John Higgins insists the World Championship should remain at the Crucible, amid speculation that snooker’s blue-riband event will move away from its spiritual home.

The four-time World champion booked his place in the second round on Wednesday after coming from behind to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-7.

World number six Higgins trailed 6-5 against the Thai Rocket, who was seeking a first win at the Crucible in his fourth appearance.

But the Wizard won five of the next six frames – hitting breaks of 100 and 65 along the way – and will play Luca Brecel or Noppon Saengkham in round two.

Higgins is making his 28th successive appearance at the Crucible this year – a tally only bettered by Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan (both on 30).

WST president Barry Hearn revealed that early discussions with Sheffield Council are ongoing surrounding the future of snooker’s biggest tournament, which is contracted to the Crucible until at least 2027.

Meanwhile, Neil Robertson suggested the possibility of hosting the tournament across two venues in Sheffield following his win over Ashley Hugill on Tuesday. But Higgins would prefer the sport to stick with tradition.

“I wouldn’t like it [being played at two venues]. I think if you’re having it in Sheffield, you have it here [at the Crucible],” the 46-year-old said.

“What is the point in moving it? I think it brings it uniqueness because you’re playing in cramped space, the crowd – everything about it.

“If you’re moving it, you need to move it to a purpose-built arena where you can fit the two tables in again. That’s what I would favour.

“I’d love to see it stay in Sheffield. This is the home of snooker.”

Due to the pandemic, this year’s tournament has been open to a full-capacity crowd from the start for the first time since 2019.

And Higgins, who has opted to remain in Sheffield throughout his campaign rather than returning to Scotland, is eager to embrace the occasion.

“It’s great being back here and the crowd are back in,” he added.

“There’s a different buzz about the city when I’m here. I’ve been here from the start practising and watching the games.

“I’m really enjoying been here because you don’t know how many more times you’re going to be here sampling this atmosphere. I didn’t want to go home early.”

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