Players need to take snooker ‘to another level’ – Judd Trump

World No 1 Judd Trump has challenged snooker stars to build on Barry Hearn’s legacy and ‘take the game to another level’.

Judd Trump in action at the Crucible. Picture: PA.

Trump has shot to prominence over the course of Hearn’s 11-year tenure as the World Snooker Tour chairman, which will come to an end at the conclusion of this year’s World Championship.

The 31-year-old is favourite to win his second world title after a stunning season and made headlines off the table prior to the tournament by claiming the sport is ‘stuck in a rut’.

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Revolutionising the dress code, highlighting more young prospects and changing the voices in the commentary box were among Trump’s suggestions for a shake-up and he believes the onus is now on the players to take snooker to new heights.

“He (Hearn) put on opportunities for everyone and we are all really grateful,” said Trump, speaking after his 10-4 first-round win over Liam Highfield.

“He’s got snooker back to where it should be and it’s time for someone a little bit younger to take over and bring a different angle and enthusiasm.

“The players need to do their job to make it as exciting as possible and take it to another level. We need to appeal to a different audience and take it worldwide.

“It’s important not to go through my career without trying to make the game better. I know a lot of younger players without a voice who may not be taken seriously feel the same as me.

“Everyone I’ve seen has agreed with me – it’s about making little subtle changes here and there to make the game as good as possible.”

Trump will play David Gilbert in the second round while his fellow contender Mark Selby made a confident start to his bid for a fourth world title as he opened up an 8-1 lead against Kurt Maflin.

Two century breaks, including a superb 142, helped the Jester into a dominant position and he needs just two more frames in tonight’s evening session to book a second-round berth.

Mark Williams, also a three-time world champion, powered past Crucible debutant Sam Craigie 10-4 to set up a meeting with fellow Class of 92 graduate John Higgins in the last 16 and four-time semi-finalist Barry Hawkins overcame Matthew Selt 10-3.

Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his second-round clash with Anthony McGill this afternoon.

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

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