Snooker star Judd Trump says defending World Championship title in front of empty house would hurt – The Sun

JUDD TRUMP says he would feel disheartened if he has to defend his Crucible crown in front of no fans – but accepts the show must go on.

The rescheduled World Snooker Championship has been confirmed to take place between July 31 and August 16 subject to government policy.

The preference is to stage the event with a full audience in the 1,000-seater Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

But if lockdown or social-distancing rules are still in place this summer, it will be played with a reduced crowd or behind closed doors.

Trump, who won his first world title last May, told SunSport: “Obviously, I’d love to defend my title in front of a full crowd. And it’d be a bit disheartening having that taken away from me.

“But you’ve to look at the bigger picture here. As snooker players, we need to keep playing.

“Maybe if there aren’t other sports going on, then snooker can become a global sport. People who maybe didn’t watch the sport before might tune in.

“With football, you need 60-70 people to play a game. In snooker, maybe you need only four or five people.

“The best-case scenario is a full crowd. But I cannot see things getting back to normal that fast.

“Now the worlds are in place, we can schedule ourselves around that.

“It’s a chance to get a bit of live sport on TV, some drama, a bit of real life. People will probably be tired of watching soaps by then!”

Trump won a record sixth title this season last month in Gibraltar, beating Kyren Wilson in front of empty stands.

The 30-year-old said: “For most of the time I didn’t notice the crowd weren’t there.

“I completely forgot at times. I don’t know if it was because I was playing well and in the zone.

“For me the pressure was still on. You know it is going out live on TV, in front of everyone, and you have the cameramen there, the marker there, the ref as well.”

This will be the first time since 1970 that the event has not been held in the UK Spring time.

Trump, who beat John Higgins 18-9 in the 2019 final, added: “Usually it’s 15-16 degrees outside. Whereas this time, it could be 25-30 degrees in peak summer.

“When you have the weather outside, and everyone is sunbathing, you’ll have to drag yourself inside to practise.

“It’ll be a lot different preparing for these world championships. But you have got to deal with it, look on the bright side.”

Judd Trump is sponsored by Dental Centre Turkey.

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