Shaun Murphy believes some snooker pundits and commentators like Stephen Hendry should do more research for their roles on television.
The Magician was talking on the subject after Hendry was criticised on Tuesday for his comments at the Champion of Champions.
When asked his opinion on women’s world champion Baipat Siripaporn, Hendry admitted that he’d never seen the young Thai star play.
It prompted an exasperated response from ITV presenter Jill Douglas.
On the latest episode of his podcast, Shaun Murphy criticised the seven-time world champion and others even further.
“We’re singling out Stephen Hendry this time because he said it,” Shaun Murphy told Phil Seymour on the OneFourSeven Snooker Podcast.
“He’s not the only person who’s said it. (But) I think it’s poor, don’t you? I think it’s really poor.”
“When you’re in that position, and you’re stood in a studio, or you’re in commentary, you have to make it your business to find out a little bit about the people you’re going to be covering.
“I thought it was poor, but there’s a few of them. He’s not on his own, and they seem to wear it like a badge of honour.
“I don’t really get it. But Stephen’s old, he’s grumpy – he just probably can’t be bothered.
“He wouldn’t know how snooker.org works, he wouldn’t know his way around CueTracker. He’s never analysed any play from any player that he’s covering.
“He basically got that job because he won seven world titles, and that’s it.”
Murphy also gave his reaction to the news that reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan had pulled out of this week’s invitational.
The Rocket announced on social media on the eve of his scheduled defence in Bolton that he felt too “drained and stressed” to perform, apologising to his fans.
“You have to take it at face value, don’t you? You have to take it as for what it is,” Murphy, the 2017 Champion of Champions, said.
“He says that he’s suffering and needs a rest, and his mental health is suffering.”
“I think you just have to hope he goes away, gets the rest he needs, and comes back stronger.
“I think it’s great that in recent times, people have felt more confident about discussing their mental health.
“It used to be a bit of a taboo subject. I grew up in an era where it just wouldn’t have been tolerated to talk about.
“You would have been told to just get on with it – stiff upper lip and all that. That’s how I was brought up.
“But it is good to see that people feel free and able to talk about it.
“I think it’s a real shame for the tournament, and I think it has to be said that he’s had a number of health concerns in recent weeks and months.
“So I hope he goes away and gets things sorted. He pulled out of an event citing tennis elbow, and he pulled out of another event for something else.
“This one has been for mental health concerns, so he’s going through it, isn’t he?”
Meanwhile, a new feature of the Champion of Champions is the snooker jerseys that the players have been wearing and which are on sale to the public.
Overall reaction has been mixed so far, but there has been plenty of talk surrounding suitable attire of late.
Luca Brecel has been highly critical of the traditional look, especially the bow tie which he believes costs him 20 per cent of his games.
But the older style is one of the reasons that the sport initially gained popularity in China, which of course has become an enormous market for the game overall.
“I know when I’ve raised this point with the powers that be in years gone by, that was always the answer I was given,” Murphy said.
“The old-fashioned, traditional, gentleman’s attire and that whole look was essential to snooker’s success in China.”
“And I’d not thought about that at all. I wouldn’t have put those pieces together had someone not have told me.
“I always remember finding how strange how much power that the Chinese market has over our game globally.
“Why don’t they just have their events dress like that then? I don’t know.
“I am quite a traditionalist at heart, and I like the look of the attire that we wear. But from a practicality point of view, it’s not great.
“I think we are probably the only sport where the outfits and the clothing actually hinder you. They make your job more difficult.”
Brecel didn’t manage to take advantage of the more relaxed clothing on day two of the Champion of Champions.
The world champion was thrashed 4-0 by the in-form Barry Hawkins, who compiled a brace of century breaks and later beat Robert Milkins as well to reach the semi-finals.
On Wednesday, 2016 champion John Higgins enters the fray against Snooker Shoot Out champion Chris Wakelin.
The winner will play either Zhang Anda or Ding Junhui, the latter receiving a late call up to replace O’Sullivan.
Murphy’s group, which also includes Judd Trump, Baipat Siripaporn, and his first opponent Gary Wilson, takes place on Thursday.
2023 Champion of Champions
Monday (Group 4)
Last 16 (bo7)
Mark Allen 4-1 Jimmy White
Mark Selby 3-4 Ali Carter
Mark Allen 6-2 Ali Carter
Tuesday (Group 2)
Last 16 (bo7)
Luca Brecel 0-4 Barry Hawkins
Mark Williams 2-4 Robert Milkins
Barry Hawkins 6-2 Robert Milkins
Wednesday (Group 1)
Last 16 (bo7)
John Higgins 4-0 Chris Wakelin
Ding Junhui 4-3 Zhang Anda
John Higgins 6-1 Ding Junhui
Thursday (Group 3)
Last 16 (bo7)
Judd Trump 4-0 Baipat Siripaporn
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Gary Wilson
Judd Trump 6-4 Shaun Murphy
Barry Hawkins 3-6 Judd Trump
John Higgins 2-6 Mark Allen
Judd Trump 3-10 Mark Allen
Featured photo credit: WST