Sam Craigie slams “embarrassing” Ronnie O’Sullivan over Championship League conduct

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Murphy ponders the table from his seat (credit:Imaginechina/SIPA/PA Images)

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Sam Craigie in action

Sam Craigie has branded Ronnie O’Sullivan “daft” and “embarrassing” following their Championship League clash in Milton Keynes last week.

Craigie faced O’Sullivan in Winners’ Group C at the Marshall Arena last Tuesday, with ‘The Rocket’ prevailing 3-1 in a high quality encounter.

Craigie, however, has hit out at O’Sullivan’s conduct during the match, suggesting his opponent made a ‘miraculous recovery’ after appearing to show symptoms of a cold.

O’Sullivan was heard sniffling and was seen to blow his nose multiple times during the contest, and Craigie has been left perplexed by the 44-year-old’s behaviour.

“Why did Ronnie seem to have a cold when he played me, then had a miraculous recovery straight after?” Craigie told The Metro. “Embarrassing.”

“It was disgusting, it didn’t bother me but he should have been tested for coronavirus mid-match!

“Considering my hands are going on the same table he is touching when he’s “extremely ill”. He is daft.”

Both Craigie and O’Sullivan ended the group on six points but were eliminated due to their inferior frame difference to Stuart Bingham.

World number 62 Craigie impressed throughout the week will look to carry that form into the upcoming World Championship qualifiers in his quest to reach The Crucible for the first time.

The 26-year-old raw talent has had a stop-start career to date, partly attributed to his conduct off the table which has included missing matches and being docked frames as a result of sleeping in.

Craigie was criticised by fellow professional Peter Lines in commentary – who claimed he needed to “get his personal life in order away from the table” in order to enjoy a successful career.

Craigie has reacted angrily to the remarks, responding: “I find it interesting that the players make the mistake of thinking they know who I am and what I’m doing when I’m not playing snooker.

“That’s the message I got from watching it back. Even though they haven’t seen me for months because this has been going on, they still think that they know what I’m doing and they haven’t got a clue.

“Obviously I’ve got a history of enjoying myself a bit and people like to leap on that. I see it as a weakness because I own space in their mind, I’m at an advantage before we even start playing snooker.

“Who’s to say I should be higher in the rankings? You can’t just say that, I could say that about anyone, it’s not true because I’m not.

“People say I’m not because of what they think I’m doing and they haven’t got a clue.

“It’s incredible, I’ve got two kids at home and everyone thinks I’m out partying, it’s strange.

“They’re six and two, so they’ve kept me very busy during lock-down, but other people know different apparently.

“It’s disgusting if you ask me. I’d rather not be complimented than people getting a nasty message across through nice words. It’s pathetic.

“When people are watching snooker they should be commenting on the game that’s being played, not making assumptions on people’s lifestyles.

“It makes people who don’t even know who I am think that about me.”

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