Well after nearly four months of will he/wont he drama Ronnie O Sullivan finally signed his World Snooker contract last night which make him eligible to return to competitive action and he will start his season in the International Championship in China which starts on October 28th.
It has been a tense couple of months with statement and counter statement coming from Ronnie's management company and World Snooker seemingly showing that each side were if anything getting more entrenched in their views.The one thing that was needed at that stage was for O Sullivan and Hearn to sit down together and trash things out. This is seemingly what happened on Monday and thankfully the issues were resolved.
Personally I am delighted by this news,Yes we can all rattle off the whole "snooker is bigger then one man argument" but the truth of the matter is for all the fine players we have there is noone currently in the game who can draw a crowd and inspire future snooker players like Ronnie.I described him on twitter as the "Bolt of the Baize" and he really has that rare quality that people so love in their sports people.,the ability to perform at the highest level when seemingly not trying at all.
A further point to make here is that although there can be little doubt that snooker will continue to grow in popularity in China and mainland Europe we have seen in recent years a serious decline in the amount snooker clubs in Britain and Ireland.This of coarse leads to a decline in numbers of young people playing the game and following the fabulous success of London 2012 we are in danger of losing a generation to other normally minority sports.If we are to have any chance at all of arresting the slide we need the likes of Ronnie playing at the top of his form.
Of course this is not guaranteed and it will be interesting to see if he can reproduce the form of the Crucible where he was perhaps the most focused he has ever been in his career. If he does he will be hard to beat in any tournament he plays in and maybe he will finally become the flag bearer that Barry Hearn so wanted him to be when he took over the sport three years ago.