Jamie Burnett’s first appearance at the Crucible since his debut in 1996 – equalling Barry Pinches’s record of 13 years between appearances – will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the thus far unresolved official investigation into the unusual betting patterns surrounding his 9-3 defeat to Stephen Maguire in last December’s UK Championship.
Jamie himself knows this because he says it is all anyone has wanted to talk to him about these last three months.
But he insists he does not have a case to answer.
“As far as the investigation is going, I don’t have any comment to make but it’s hard not to think about it because everyone wants to talk about it and it’s the last thing I want to talk about,” Burnett said.
“As far as I’m concerned it was a snooker match and I lost and that’s the end of it.
“When I’m playing snooker I’m fine, I don’t think about it, but off the table that’s all people want to talk about.
“It’s getting to be a pain in the backside but I don’t see it as my problem.
“I don’t have anything to answer for because I haven’t done anything. World Snooker can investigate it all they like. As I said at the time, if they want to speak to me they know where I am. It’s down to them.”
Some would argue the investigation should be conducted at a faster pace but I would disagree.
There should be no rush to judgement in such a serious case. As I understand it, the tapes are being studied and Burnett will be asked to give a full explanation of what happened.
This will not occur until after the World Championship so he will, rightly or wrongly, remain under a cloud during the Crucible event.