Stephen Hendry has opted out of competing in the World Snooker Championship qualifications at the English Institute of Sport in just 12 months after returning to the sport after a nine-year hiatus.
At the start of the 2020/21 season, the seven-time world champion accepted a two-year wild card from former World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn and played his first match since the 2012 World Championship when he lost 4-1 to Matthew Selt in the first round of the Gibraltar Open in Milton Keynes last March, making his 776th career century in winning his only frame of the contest.
The deadline to enter the sport’s marquee event was Monday at noon, but the Scotsman has decided not to compete in order to continue his role as a TV analyst away from the table with the 46th World Championship.
Hendry was convinced to accept an invitational tour card in one of Barry Hearn’s final significant acts as World Snooker Tour chairman.
After the 2012 World Snooker Championship, the seven-time world champion resigned for the first time at the age of 43.
In Sheffield that year, Hendry recorded a 147 break in the first round and went on to defeat defending champion John Higgins in the last eight.
However, a crushing defeat to compatriot Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals convinced Hendry that his time at the top was finished.
In 2020, then, the revelation that Hendry would once again be competing as a professional came as totally unexpected news.
Perry believes Hendry may have forgotten how difficult the game is at the greatest level during his time away from the table, which lasted from his retirement at the 2012 World Championship until the 2021 Gibraltar Open.
‘It’s hard to call it a comeback really, he’s made a couple of appearances. It’s a shame,’ Perry told.
‘I don’t want to speak for him, but I wonder, sitting in that commentary box, and I’ve sat next to him and it’s an absolute joy because he’s a great commentator
‘We have to turn the microphones off sometimes because I get the giggles from some of the things he says.
‘But I think sitting in that commentary box, you can get a bit misled by how hard the game is. It looks so easy from in there.
‘That’s one thing I’ve tried not to do when I commentate – forget how hard snooker is. It is so hard. He’s watched a lot of snooker and maybe thought he could get back to winning ways.’