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Barry Hearn: Ronnie O'Sullivan has retired more times than Frank Sinatra

Updated: Friday, 03 May 2013 09:31 | Comments

Barry Hearn with Ronnie O'Sullivan following the latter's victory in the 2012 World Championship final
Barry Hearn with Ronnie O'Sullivan following the latter's victory in the 2012 World Championship final

Barry Hearn is unmoved by Ronnie O'Sullivan's latest threat to quit snooker - insisting the four-time world champion can walk away whenever he likes.

O'Sullivan chose the eve of his Crucible semi-final against Judd Trump - locked at 4-4 overnight - to announce this World Championship will be his last.

The 37-year-old has spent most of the last year in self-imposed exile from the sport, and in the wake of his quarter-final demolition of Stuart Bingham claimed he only returned because he needed the money to pay overdue school fees.

The Rocket claims he has "no intention to come back" to the Crucible in 2014, but World Snooker chairman Hearn played down his latest outburst.

"If he goes will it be the end of my world? No," said Hearn, as reported in a number of national newspapers.

"As much as we need Ronnie I cannot run a sport around the concerns of one player.

"Ronnie has retired more times than Frank Sinatra. There is no pressure for him to play, it is entirely his choice.

"At the moment some players are complaining of burnout because they think they are playing too much and some don't want to play at all.

"Ronnie does add to the game, of course he does. But if he doesn't like the schedule or the travelling he can quit."

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