Ronnie O'Sullivan makes feelings clear on controversial Saudi tournament that has bizarre 'golden ball' rule
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Ronnie O'Sullivan has had his say on the Riyadh Season World of Snooker, including a new 'golden ball' rule and the chance of a 167 break.
O'Sullivan is set to appear at the World Snooker Tour's newest event in Saudi Arabia, currently scheduled for March.
'The Rocket' will compete in a 10-player event consisting of the top eight in the world plus two 'wildcard' entries.
What's caused the most controversy is the 'golden ball', known officially as the ‘Riyadh Season ball’.
It will be worth 20 points but only available to pot once a player has made a maximum break of 147.
The World Snooker Tour is yet to confirm if the ball will be on the table throughout the game. In addition, there is no ruling on if players will be penalised for hitting it too early.
O'Sullivan, who is still regarded as one of the best in the world, defeated Judd Trump on Sunday evening to win the World Grand Prix.
The 48-year-old has won four trophies this season and everyone was waiting for his verdict on the upcoming event out in the Middle East.
Speaking after his win over the weekend, O'Sullivan declared: "What’s the prize for a 167, have they announced it?
"I’m sure it’ll be a hefty prize. Listen, the Saudis can do what they like – they’re a powerful outfit.
"I think it’ll be good, it’d be great to get out there and play, every other sport seems to be doing stuff in Saudi so it’d be great to get out there."
Trump, who is the world number two, also backed the introduction of a 'golden ball'.
He said: "It’s completely different. They’re trying something different, and hopefully all the players can get behind that.
"I think every player wants to be the first to do something, so it’ll be a great achievement if I can do it."
Steve Dawson, chairman of the World Snooker Tour, said: "It is a great privilege for the World Snooker Tour to work in partnership with HE Advisor Turki Alalshikh to stage an event in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
"This is a huge breakthrough for snooker into a new territory, and we see this as the beginning of a new adventure for our sport in the region."