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22 February 2024

Indian Advani's win over Murphy sparks 'fix' claims


Indian world billiards' champion Pankaj Advani's shock win over Shaun Murphy in snooker's Welsh Open on Tuesday led to the Englishman facing accusations he'd deliberately lost the match.

Murphy, the 2005 snooker world champion, was beaten 4-3 by Advani in Newport, south Wales, with the Indian playing on the senior professional snooker circuit for the first time this season.

Murphy received a Twitter message Tuesday night, from a user whose account appeared to have been deleted subsequently, saying: "Rumours going round you match fixed tonights game Shaun??? Any truth??"

The shocked English cueman replied: "Absolutely not-ouch."

He later added: "Worst day of my career today, being accused of losing on purpose."

The 30-year-old Murphy received support from his fellow professionals, with Northern Ireland's Mark Allen tweeting: "Don't be silly mate. We all know its a pile of crap!!! Never a more untrue word spoke. Chin up."

Last year's World Championship runner-up Ali Carter called Murphy "an asset to the game", and former world number three Neal Foulds added: "Nobody in snooker believes that of u. Its a 100% non-starter. Great match to watch. As the cliche goes, shame there was a loser."

Murphy fell 3-1 behind against Advani before recovering to force a deciding frame. However, in that final frame Advani established a significant lead, and although Murphy played on needing snookers, the Indian won the match.