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Mark Allen not looking forward to playing at an empty Crucible

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

10:45 9 Jun 2020

Mark Allen says he'll miss the experience of walking out to a full house at the Crucible Theatre when the World Championships start in July.

The 34-year-old got a taste of what it was like to play without any spectators at the Snooker Championship League in Milton Keynes.

Allen beat Nigel Bond and Michael White but a 2-2 draw with Martin O'Donnell saw him knocked out of the tournament on frame difference.

The Antrim man praised World Snooker for getting the show back on the road but he also admitted he wasn't looking forward to a lack of atmosphere in Sheffield next month.

"It wouldn't be nice walking into the Crucible if it was like this," Allen said.

Speaking to the PA news agency, the world number seven added: "There's so much on the line and the crowd normally gets involved in the matches and it can get on top of you, and I think that's part of the game that we will miss.

"I was very surprised that they staged this tournament because I didn't think they'd be anywhere near ready on June 1st and it just shows what a good job Barry Hearn and the team at World Snooker have done."

Allen was using this week's event to familiarise himself with an event without spectators, something he knows will become the norm for a while.

"I think the way this tournament has been set up is a sign of the times and the next few months is going to be similar," Allen said.

"I wanted to get used to playing behind closed doors without a crowd and having to get your own equipment.

"It's a big change from what we're used to but they've done an unbelievable job keeping us safe."

The World Snooker Championship has been rescheduled to start on July 31st and will be staged across 17 days at the Crucible Theatre, which usually has a capacity of just under 1,000.

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Crucible Theatre Mark Allen Northern Ireland Snooker World Championship

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