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Mark Selby tried to “gain an advantage” in World Championship final believes Ronnie O’Sullivan

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Mark Selby secures fantastic fourth World Snooker Championship title

Selby and O’Sullivan during the UK Championship final in 2016 (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan believes Mark Selby attempted to “gain an advantage” during the World Championship final against Shaun Murphy.

A controversial incident in the 20th frame of the final on Monday saw Selby escape from a tricky snooker behind the brown using the rest after initially miscueing in his first two attempts using various equipment.

Video replays show the cue ball was replaced in a marginally different position following the first two fouls, allowing Selby to strike an area of the cue ball he was previously unable to hit.

Neither Selby nor Murphy questioned referee Paul Collier over the re-positioning of the cue ball and Selby went on to hit a red but lose the frame.

O’Sullivan, working as a pundit for Eurosport, was critical of both Selby and Murphy over the incident, and said: “If the white was put back where it was originally, this shot is just not possible.

“Because you can’t hit enough of the white, and if you did, you would probably miscue and the white would go towards the yellow.

“So if this shot was playable in the first place, he would have done. But even still, even when the white has moved [from the re-spot] quite considerably, really, he still couldn’t hit enough of the white to come that side of the red.

“So that shot was just never possible. You try not to blame the players, but in that situation, if the player has got the spider out originally and then he is using the rest, surely they should be able to use the technology to see the balls are not right.

“Because if they were right, you [Selby] would still have the spider in your hands. So maybe they should have used the technology to get it right.

“If I was Shaun, I’d have been out of my chair saying “look, I want to see a freeze-frame, I don’t think that shot was on the first place.” What difference is a couple of minutes?

“That’s what I would have done but Shaun obviously didn’t choose to exercise that option.

“You have to blame Shaun in that situation. Selby is maybe just trying to gain a little advantage, and unless he’s pulled up on it, he is maybe going to try and take that advantage.

“What’s the point in having technology if you’re not going to use it?

“I know straight away, when you are cueing over that distance with that spider, that’s the worst shot in snooker.

“The first two shots, he would probably do that [scuff it for a miss] 100 times out of 100.

“So if he is getting the rest out, why didn’t he do that in the first place? Now I’m thinking that the balls must be in the wrong position.

“Let’s get the VT out and get it right because that ain’t right to me.”

Selby went on to defeat Murphy 18-15 in front of a near capacity Crucible crowd and secure his fourth world title in the space of eight years.

He becomes the ninth player in snooker history to win four or more world titles and climbs back up to world number two in the process.

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