Judd Trump has hit out at Anthony Hamilton for withdrawing from the World Snooker Championship on the eve of the tournament, calling the world No 48 “selfish” and suggesting he should have pulled out prior to securing his place at the event instead of taking an opportunity from another player.
Hamilton, a four-times Crucible quarter-finalist, made his way through qualifying to set up a first-round tie with Kyren Wilson, before pulling out on Wednesday due to fears over coronavirus. Hamilton suffers from asthma, and criticised the decision to allow spectators into the event as one of three nationwide pilots to pave the way for fans to return to live events permanently.
However Trump, who begins the defence of his title on Friday against Tom Ford, said Hamilton should have made his decision earlier. “This was announced with enough time to know that there was going to be a crowd during this tournament,” he said. “Before the qualifying started, he should have just pulled out completely and given someone else a chance.”
Hamilton secured his place at the tournament with a 10-5 win over Scott Donaldson in the final qualifying round, and Trump admitted he would be far from pleased if he were in Donaldson’s shoes. “I’d be very annoyed,” he said. “He was playing under no pressure to qualify when everyone was trying their life out to get there. People need to think of the bigger picture sometimes and try not to be selfish and give others the opportunity.”
Hearn seemingly confirmed Hamilton’s withdrawal prior to any confirmation from World Snooker, telling TalkSport: “Anthony Hamilton withdrew yesterday having gone through the qualifying competition and decided last night that he’s going to withdraw from the World Snooker Championship because he’s got asthma and he is worried about his own health.”