June 22, 2024

Ronnie O’Sullivan has cast doubt on whether he will play in the United Kingdom next season after his hopes of a record eighth world title in the modern era were dashed by Stuart Bingham.

O’Sullivan was beaten 13-10 in the quarter-finals of the World Championship.

‘The Rocket’ also saw his hopes of becoming only the fourth player to win all three Triple Crown events in a single season end on Wednesday at the Crucible Theatre.

“I am aware of my value, of my time and what I bring to the sport,” said O’Sullivan.

“As long as those needs are met I will keep playing.”

The 48-year-old recently signed a three-year ambassadorial agreement with Saudi Arabia, requiring him to playing in all World Snooker Tour events in the nation.

As part of that deal he will also undertake coaching trips and set up an academy in the Middle East to help develop the game in the region.

“There are only so many days I allow myself to be away from home,” he added.

“World Snooker is a commercial business and I decided I had to be commercial to enjoy being on the Tour.

“I don’t just turn up to events, there is a tax to be paid and if people are prepared to pay it I will get my cue out of its case. If not I am content to never ever play again and do other stuff.”

O’Sullivan’s ‘arm twisted’ to play at Crucible

Widely regarded as snooker’s greatest ever player, the 41-time ranking event winner also has a number of lucrative commitments in the Far East and has played a reduced schedule in recent times.

This season he has competed in nine of the 17 ranking events on the Tour, with six of those including the sport’s blue-riband event being held in Great Britain.

However, he insisted he had only competed in the World Championship in Sheffield at the behest of a new sponsor.

“I am contracted to do certain events and my own shows in China, I am contracted to go to Saudi Arabia so they have first dibs and then it is spending time at home with my family,” he said.

“I wasn’t going to play in this one until a new sponsor came along. I wasn’t going to play in Manchester [at the Tour Championship], but they twisted my arm.

“It is first come, first served. I am already signed up for about eight or nine events so if I do really bad in them I suppose I have to dip my toe in and play a couple of tournaments over here but otherwise probably not because I just want to be at home.”


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