Stuart Bingham says he is ‘not a fan’ of Stephen Hendry’s return to snooker, and although the seven-time world champion is fully deserving of the invite to play on the main tour, he will ‘have more bad days than good days now’.
Hendry was offered a two-year tour card by then WST chairman Barry Hearn in 2020 and played for the first time in nine years at the 2021 Gibraltar Open.
He was won a couple of matches since then, beating Jimmy White in the World Championship qualifiers before edging out Chris Wakelin at the British Open last month.
With two wins under his belt and the 52-year-old believing he is fast improving after nine years away from top level competition his return to the baize has not been a failure and he intends to keep playing for some time to come.
However, Bingham is not sure what the legend of the sport will get out of the comeback, thinking it is going to be something of a painful task for the Scot.
Asked about Hendry’s return on the Talking Snooker podcast, Bingham said: ‘Each to their own. I’m probably not a fan.
‘What he’s done in the game, he deserves a wildcard whenever he wants, same as Jimmy White and most probably Ken Doherty.
‘I dunno, Stephen’s taken nine years away from the game, even though he’s played a handful in the Seniors, he’s lost that edge. Only really Stephen himself can answer how good he thinks he can get back to.
‘He gave up the game because he didn’t like losing and I’m not sure how long he’s going to play for. I can see him losing a fair bit the way he’s playing at the moment.
‘He might have a good match but having that time off, nine years off, he’s going to have more bad days than good days now, I think. As harsh as that may seem, but that’s how I think.’
Hendry has picked up those two wins and looked good in his first match back, which ended in defeat to Matt Selt who was in superb form at the Gibraltar Open, however, he has struggled in a couple of his other matches.
Bingham isn’t particularly impressed with what he has seen, but he would love to see Hendry rediscover some of his old magic and create more memories on the snooker table.
‘I watch him but you can see him struggling with himself,’ said the 2015 world champion. ‘He throws in a few snatchy cue actions and you can see why he give up.
‘He said he had a bit of “cueitis” [or the yips], he couldn’t let go of the cue and things like that and you can still see it’s there. Everything’s very deliberate and when it gets to the crunch, a pressure situation, you see it appear.
‘Hopefully he can get out of it and get back to some sort of level and it’ll be good for the game.’
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