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Joe Perry left in “state of shock” by Crucible protest

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The match between Perry and Milkins was postponed on Monday (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA/Alamy)

Joe Perry admits he was left in a “state of shock” after a protestor forced his match against Robert Milkins to be postponed.

Perry and Milkins were a matter of minutes in to their First Round tie at The Crucible on Monday when a protestor entered the playing arena and leapt onto the table before pouring orange powder onto the baize.

The protest was a simultaneous act which also saw a woman attempt to glue herself to the other table during the match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi.

The perpetrators were ejected by security and subsequently arrested, and the players left the arena before play resumed on Table Two a short time later.

However, Table One was deemed unplayable despite the best efforts of event staff to clear the surface, meaning Milkins and Perry must now resume their first session on Tuesday evening, before playing to a finish from 9.30am on Thursday.

Perry, who was working as a pundit for BBC Sport on Tuesday morning, admitted: “It was just a state of shock really, you don’t expect to see anything like that happen anywhere, especially at The Crucible.

“I didn’t know what to think in the beginning, but once it was all over I just tried to relax about the whole situation, but it was a bit unnerving at the time.

“It was a much less stressful evening than it otherwise would have been, but we go again tonight and it’ll all be okay.

“You set your preparations to play your match when you’re scheduled to play, so it’s a little bit awkward but it’s one of those things, we have to deal with it.

“What we’ve got now is the least disruptive way of carrying the tournament on, so we’ll just go with it.”

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