John Higgins Criticises new U.K Championship format

Updated: December 2, 2011

World champion John Higgins has criticised changes to the UK Championship format.

Matches have been reduced from best of 17 frames to best of 11 until the semi-finals of the tournament, which starts in York on Saturday

Four-time champion Higgins said although World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has done well, he is wrong to alter the second most prestigious ranking event.

“It’s disappointing but Barry’s decided to do it this way,” said Higgins.

Higgins, who is also the defending UK champion, claimed Hearn had not consulted players about the changes.
We don’t want to be involved in the running of the game,” added the 36-year-old Scot, who begins his bid for a fourth UK title against Rory McLeod on Saturday.

“We know he’s a top man and should go ahead and run the sport as best as he sees fit. He’s doing a great job of it.

“But little things like best of 17, he should have kept that definitely.

“You always associate the UK Championships with the best of 17.

“That it’s been cut to 11 is very disappointing – especially after Barry mentioned he wasn’t going to touch any of the majors.

“He has got his reasons for doing it, but I think the players should have been told of these changes or asked our opinions.

“But I suppose that’s why he’s in charge.”

The UK Championship returns this year to the Barbican Centre in York, its home from 2001 to 2006 before a four-year residence at Telford’s International Centre.

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