It’s pure theater – Kyren Wilson wants the World Championship to stay at the Crucible

New world champion Kyren Wilson hopes the tournament stays at the Crucible, admitting his victory over Jak Jones wouldn’t have felt the same anywhere else.

The Sheffield venue has hosted the World Snooker Championship every year since 1977, but the current deal expires on its 50th anniversary.

Former World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, chairman of the Matchroom, has warned Sheffield City Council that its days of hosting the showpiece event are numbered unless the Crucible is demolished and replaced with a larger capacity venue.

In the build-up to this year’s tournament, seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan suggested he should move to either Saudi Arabia or China to maximize the profit potential.

Meanwhile, after losing in the first round, Hossein Vafaei criticized the conditions at the Crucible – calling it “smelly” and comparing the training room facilities to playing in a garage.

Wilson battled to an 18-14 victory over top-seeded Jones on Monday.

The 32-year-old, who was runner-up to O’Sullivan in Sheffield in 2020, admitted his sense of achievement would have been different had the event been held elsewhere.

“I hope it never moves. It’s amazing and it’s literally in the writing, it’s pure theater there,” Wilson told Sky Sports News.

“It’s so intense, so compact, the atmosphere is like no other. I don’t think you can create the same intensity in a big, vast place.

“I understand why it’s being talked about. Obviously, there is a massive demand for snooker right now in all parts of the world.

“It’s a great position to be in but for me it was so important to make sure I lifted it this year because if I ever got the chance to lift this trophy and it wasn’t at the Crucible, for me especially , I don’t think it would have had quite the same effect.”

Saudi Arabia’s growing interest in the sport has dramatically changed the landscape of discussions.

The first ranking tournament is set to be held in the kingdom next season, and the second World Masters of Snooker will double its prize for the controversial golden ball pot to $1 million.

Wilson added: “At the end of the day, everyone has different circumstances.

“People have families to provide for, mortgages to pay, bills to pay, so I don’t know what other people are going through.

Kyren Wilson celebrates with his family at the Crucible
Kyren Wilson celebrated a memorable Crucible win with his family (Mike Egerton/PA)

“For me it was just to be a part of history. Obviously the money and all that can take care of itself if you’re a world champion, so I don’t think there’s any point in worrying about it.

“Money comes and goes, but history and legacy is obviously something that will stay forever.

“At the end of the day, we travel a lot. We make a lot of sacrifices away from family.

“So if the rewards are going to get bigger and better, that’s obviously great – but history is something that could never be stolen from me.”

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