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Yan Bingtao on brown controversy: ‘I was just joking’

Yan Bingtao has responded to the brown incident during his World Snooker Championship victory over Mark Selby.

The Chinese number two beat the defending champion 13-10 on Saturday to reach the quarter-finals in Sheffield.

A slog that featured a frame that broke the record for the longest played at the Crucible also had a somewhat controversial moment late in the 18th frame.

In a difficult position with the cue ball partially covered by the blue, Yan took several minutes to decide if he could make the potting angle of the brown.

Leading 10-7 and with only four points separating the pair, Yan had the opportunity to extend his lead over the world number two.

The 22 year-old understandably took a long time to make his decision, and at one point asked the referee if he would clean the cue ball.

Having the white ball cleaned and replaced would potentially give Yan an advantage, an unwritten rule that tends not to be broken.

It was a request made in jest as Yan laughed off the immediate denial from referee Rob Spencer without challenge.

Many commentators and analysts, though, seemed to take umbrage with the former Masters champion’s attempt to release some tension.

Those on Eurosport, in particular, were intent on going down the route of controversy, thinking that Yan was in fact hoping to gain some sort of sneaky edge.

As it turned out, Yan potted the brown and won the frame to move 11-7 ahead, before eventually holding on for a superb triumph.

During his post-match press conference, the world number 16 was grilled on the moment and looked a little confused by the questioning.

He made it clear that he was only joking, a sentiment he has repeated on social media today.

“I chose to let the referee clean the white ball because I was too nervous,” Yan Bingtao wrote on Twitter regarding the shot on the brown.

“I wanted to adjust the atmosphere and try to relax myself. I knew the referee would not agree to my request.”

“I was just joking with him to ease the tension. I will try my best to win the next game.”

Yan will take on three-time former champion Mark Williams next after reaching the last eight in Sheffield for the first time in his career.

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Jamie Brannon

    The BBC commentators didn’t seem too vexed on the issue. Yan was superb in the safety exchanges, often besting the great Selby.

    Hazel gave you a mention on the coverage yesterday over a piece you’d written on Judd Trump.

  2. Jamie Brannon

    I thought you might not have done. Nice to know the great Hazel Irvine is reading this site, even more so if she reads my comments!

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