Hearn backs Evans for Crucible

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn believes Reanne Evans is ready to make a big push for a dream Crucible debut.

The World Championship qualifying rounds begin at Pond’s Forge leisure centre in Sheffield next Tuesday, and ladies’ world number one Evans must win three best-of-19-frame matches to reach the televised stage of the tournament.

It is a tall order for a player who failed to win a main-draw match in 2010/11 when she was handed a season-long wild card to take on the men. She has been awarded one of a handful of discretionary invitations by snooker chiefs for the World Championship preliminaries this time.

Evans has won the women’s world title 10 times in a row, with the 29-year-old from Dudley unmistakably a class apart in that field.

But the standard is such in the Crucible qualifiers that she could face the likes of Jimmy White, Ken Doherty, Peter Ebdon or Steve Davis, not to mention a host of impressive youngsters ranked outside the elite top 16.

Hearn, however, told BBC Radio Sheffield: “Reanne has jumped at her chance and she is capable of beating half the field, maybe more.”

He added: “Reanne has won the Women’s World Snooker Championship more times than I have had a slice of toast.

“She is a fantastic player but it is an open game. The future of the sport is to open the game to everyone, irrespective of race, colour or sex. We need to say, ‘There is a snooker table, go and play’.”

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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