Kyren Wilson refuses to rule out controversial move to LIV-style breakaway snooker tour despite calls for Crucible ‘BAN’

KYREN WILSON has not ruled out the prospect of becoming world champion and then joining a rival snooker tour.

The Warrior moved closer to a maiden Triple Crown success with a 13-6 win over Leicester qualifier Joe O’Connor in the second round.

PAKyren Wilson is open to joining a LIV-style rebel snooker circuit[/caption]

Yet Wilson admits that like world No.2 Judd Trump, he has been approached about becoming a member of a LIV-style rebel circuit.

The 2020 world championship runner-up has put the offer to one side and will make a call on his future after this year’s Crucible campaign.

Pressed on which way he may sway towards, Wilson replied: “I’m not on any side. Obviously my priority is to be a world champion.

“I want those opportunities. But then on the flipside, you have to take things into account.

“We’ve got families to provide for. We have never had these opportunities before. I think it’s something that players do need to think very carefully about.

“I’ve come into the world championship fully focused on this tournament. What will be will be for me.

“I’m very comfortable in my life where my career is at. It’s just a bonus to be in the position to have these opportunities.

“I think a lot of the players have been contacted. It’s a good position for snooker.

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“It shows the strength and the popularity and the demand.

“It’s something that’s probably never really been seen before and it’s very interesting. It’s obviously turning a few heads. Exciting times for snooker.

“I haven’t given it much time or much consideration. It’s something I’ll look at more seriously after the world championship.”

Wilson, 32, loves competing in exhibitions in China and was treated royally when he was out in Macau with his family over Christmas.

The Northamptonshire cueist, the No.12 seed, said: “The demand on that side of the world, because of what happened with Covid, is going through the roof and it’s very exciting.

“I’d have probably been one of the players that would have struggled going out there so much in the past. Whereas nowadays I cannot wait to get back.

“We get treated so well, it’s so luxurious and we get appreciated as snooker players.

“I turned up there last year and it was my birthday. I walked into a room with a massive Happy Birthday (banner) throughout the room.

“My kids couldn’t believe it. When you’re getting presented with opportunities like that, it’s really tough not to take them on.

“At the end of the day, you don’t know what people’s lives are like behind closed doors.

“You don’t know who has debts, who’s paying for mortgages, who’s struggling to feed mouths.

“You might see figures online or in the papers of what people are earning. But I can assure you, it’s not what’s made out to be.

“We’re very lucky that we can play a game that we love. And get paid well for it.

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“It’s something I’ll sit down with the family and analyse. I’m so far off what I want to achieve. I haven’t landed any Triple Crown events. I have come so close.

“I have said previously I wouldn’t be happy if I won just one world title.

“I still want those opportunities. I need to sit down and analyse what is best for my snooker.”

Meanwhile, the WST has been urged to ban Ronnie O’Sullivan or anyone else that signs up for a potential LIV-style breakaway tour.

The Rocket, who recently penned a three-year ambassadorial deal with Saudi Arabia, has admitted he is open to the idea.

Trump has committed his future to the WST, but Shaun Murphy, who was knocked out of the World Championship by Stephen Maguire at the weekend, says: “I think I’d like to see a situation where players have to declare their allegiance one way or the other.

“They can play on the World Snooker Tour with the majors, the Triple Crowns, the history and heritage that Judd talked about.

“Or they can go and play on a new tour with unknown backers, people we don’t know. How long does this pot of money last? It’s a case of be careful what you wish for.

“I wouldn’t like a situation where players can go off and then come back and play in the Triple Crown events. I don’t think that should happen. You stick your flag in the ground, declare your loyalty somewhere and see how we go.

“Players want the independence to play where they want when they want and I really do understand that. I’m not sure you can have your cake and eat it.”

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