Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals message to Shaun Murphy over BBC commentary duties
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Ronnie O’Sullivan reveals message to Shaun Murphy over BBC...

Ronnie O’Sullivan has some words of advice for Shaun Murphy (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan doesn’t think Shaun Murphy can win a BBC event if he continues to commentate and work as a pundit during the tournaments.

Murphy arrived at this year’s World Championship as one of the favourites after a superb season which saw him win both the Players and Tour Championships.

However, he fell at the first hurdle, losing to eventual semi-finalists Si Jiahui in a deciding frame to make it back-to-back first round exits at the Crucible for the Magician.

The 2005 world champion’s decision to commentate on matches and work as a pundit during BBC events in which he is competing has created debate with many questioning whether he is giving himself the best chance of winning the tournament.

O’Sullivan certainly does not think it is a wise choice, believing that it is no coincidence he prospered on ITV-broadcast events last season when he has no extra television commitments.

Speaking to Stephen Hendry on the Scot’s Cue Tips YouTube channel, O’Sullivan said of his own punditry duties on Eurosport: ‘I do like it, I have a laugh with Jimmy, I like watching the snooker, it’s nice.

‘I can’t do the commentary. If I start commentating I feel like I’ve give up as a snooker player. There’s no way I can start doing that, I had to draw a line somewhere.

‘Punditry I’m relaxed, chilled out, watching the game which is nice, but I’m not sitting in some little box. I can’t dilute myself too much, if you lose that then you don’t feel like a snooker player and it’s no good.

‘Murphy does it, but I said to him, he can’t win a BBC event because he’s in the commentary box too much and the punditry.

‘He could have won the Worlds this year if he’d stayed out of the punditry. It’s not right, I don’t get it.’

Hendry agreed, especially at the epic World Championship, when he believes it is essential to switch off when you are not playing.

‘I asked him and he said, what else am I going to do?’ Hendry said of the world number seven.

Murphy had a great season but was beaten by an inspired Si at the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

‘In the Worlds, one of the most important things, I think, is the down time and switching off.

‘You play a match and then straight away go in for a nine-frame session in the comms box?’

Murphy gave his take on the situation earlier this year, speaking to ahead of the Masters, he said: ‘People get annoyed about that don’t they?

‘Of course I do understand where they’re coming from, but without sounding big-headed, as the professional I’ll have to pull rank and declare that I’d never do anything that I’d consider detrimental to my own game.

‘I got a lot of criticism at the World Championship but I was commentating in the morning and playing at night, these things aren’t linked. If I wasn’t commentating I’d be watching in my hotel room.

‘People have to realise that I’d never do anything that jeopardised my own performance or put me at a disadvantage. I have been criticised for that decision, but it’s a decision I’m happy with.’

Si Jiahui put in a great performance to edge out Murphy 10-9 in Sheffield (Picture: Getty Images)

Asked again about the situation after his defeat to Si at the Crucible, Murphy told a press conference: ‘I really feel we should drop that now, I’ve been doing it for years. This isn’t my first event doing that. I really think everyone needs to find a new topic of debate.

‘I know what’s best for my game and I’ll continue to do it until the BBC tell me otherwise.

‘It’s done nothing but help my game, everyone’s complimenting me that my all-round game has improved over the last year or two, everyone’s saying that but nobody has connected the dots that I’m analysing so much snooker, watching so much snooker from the studio or the comms box.

‘That’s the key reason for that. I shall continue doing that because it’s helping me and I like it.’

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan implores Luca Brecel to stick to his guns to keep winning big

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan warns rivals he’s ‘coming back a different player’ after World Championship disappointment

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