Rocket Ronnie delays launch into new season

23:37:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Rocket lauch? Not just yet ...
The 2012 World Championship:

O'Sullivan announces that he "might, might" retire from playing snooker in the near future. Shocking news? Not really, he's said it before. A few days later though, he goes on and wins the bloody thing and lifts the most desired trophies of all with a huge smile on his face, next to a mesmerized Ronnie Jnr, who was there with him in the arena to celebrate his dad's forth victory at the Crucible.

The press conference after the World Championship:

Ronnie is still continuing to say that snooker and a packed season don't work very well for him and that his family comes first. He still loves playing, but ... taking some time off, might do him some good. Retiring thoughts? He's still seriously considering it, but doesn't want to make any rush decisions just now.

Present time:

A shocking statement is being released on Grove Snooker's web-site, the Rocket saying that:

“I have decided not to enter any tournaments for the time being including this year’s Premier League and forthcoming WPBSA ranking events."

“I have not signed the player’s contract as I feel the contract is too onerous and am in a stage of my career where I don’t wish to make this commitment."

“I still want to play snooker and visit those places around the world such as China where snooker is enthusiastically received and adored."

“I hope to remain involved in the sport in some way in the future.”

A few hours later World Snooker Ltd. replays: 

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn today confirmed that all players on the World Snooker Tour for the 2012/13 season have signed the official players' contract, other than Ronnie O'Sullivan, who is therefore not currently eligible to compete in any World Snooker sanctioned event.

The contract was prepared and agreed in conjunction with the WPBSA and following consultation with the Snooker Players Association.

Hearn said: "As much as we will miss Ronnie O'Sullivan in World Snooker events, we simply can't make exceptions for one player's individual requirements. Our duty is to treat all of the players equally."

"Ronnie is at liberty to enter our events and play on the circuit at any time, once he agrees to abide by the rules of the players' contract."

Ronnie and his forth world title
The conclusion? Well, that's a toughie. Mainly because I'm not a mind reader and because Ronnie is known for changing his mind.

Still, this time he seems pretty serious and determined in his beliefs. He's not announcing retirement, but he's announcing that he's not going to say "Yes" to travelling and snookering from Paris to Bangkok this forthcoming season.

Personally, I think this is a very mature way of saying what you really want, rather than sign a contract and then start pulling off from events that don't suit your personal schedule. I think it's an honest and clear way of saying what you really want and expect.

On the other hand, snooker is not going to stop because of Ronnie even if it feels like a blasphemy. The sport will carry on and although there's no doubt the fans will be disappointed no to see the Rocket in action, there are so many other great characters in the game ready to keep the show going.

What's really important here is that O'Sullivan is not saying "OK, I had enough with you people, so I quit", which is a big step considering his latest statements, but that he doesn't want to accept a contract terms and then break the rules causing more controversy around him.

Will this be the end of Ronnie as a snooker player (thriller music on the background) ??? Well, I won't go that far ... just yet.