Angry Bingham accuses Selby of 'gamesmanship' after suffering semi-final heartbreak in Sheffield

·3-min read
Bingham, 44, fumed at snooker snail Selby's slow play after his gutting semi-final defeat
Bingham, 44, fumed at snooker snail Selby's slow play after his gutting semi-final defeat

Stuart Bingham questioned whether opponent Mark Selby employed ‘gamesmanship’ tactics after losing out in the Betfred World Snooker Championship semi-finals, writes Ross Lawson.

Bingham fell to a 17-15 defeat to the three-time world champion after the two went to an unprecedented fifth session after over-running when due to play to a finish.

That, in Bingham’s view, was partly down to the slow play of Selby, while two separate frames needed two reracks – one of which came 31 minutes after the frame had initially restarted.

“Looking back, getting pulled off, some of the frames went a bit bad and slow, that’s the way it goes,” he said.

“Selby is a battler, it’s what he’s known for. I don’t know if there’s a bit of gamesmanship, but there was one shot that took three minutes and he just rolled into the balls.

“You look back at things like that and he’s had to do that to beat me.

“You learn about yourself and your opponent in matches like this. I thought we had a bit more respect for each other, he celebrated before potting game ball and I lost a little bit of respect for him, really.

“I wouldn’t do that, so I suppose I don’t expect other people to do it. It’s put a bit of a sour taste on the match.”

In response, Selby said: “Does he expect everyone to go out there and play like Ronnie O’Sullivan?

“I’m not going to just go out there, lay down and roll them over the hole for him, what does he expect?”

A strong third session of the match had seen Bingham reel off five frames in succession to take a big step towards the final.

But Selby fought back, scoring two century breaks in the fourth and final session of the match, though at 14-14 in the mid-session interval, it was still anyone’s game.

Selby is one of the toughest match players to beat and so it proved as 2015 world champion Bingham bowed out in the last four.

Not a bad achievement for someone who had to qualify just to reach the Crucible, winning five long matches in a tiresome April.

“I’m gutted looking back,” he added. “If someone had said that I’d get to the semis after missing a red with the ball in hand against Ding [Junhui, in the first round], I’d have snapped their hand off.

“My goal was to get back in the top 16, getting to the semi-finals has really pushed me back up.

“I’ve had two pretty poor seasons so to get back in the 16 now, hopefully I can push on and get back into the top ten again.

“The third session, I came out at 6-2 and enjoyed myself, and that’s what I’ll take forward.”

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3