DEFIANT Stuart Bingham defended snooker bosses after coronavirus chaos threw the Scottish Open into disarray.

The Basildon potter evaded the confusion in his first round win against Ben Hancorn but delays to the results of Covid-19 test results meant dozens of games on Monday were postponed.

World Snooker Tour rules stipulate all players must deliver a negative result before they compete, with many matches either not finishing until the early hours of the morning or being pushed back to the following day.

Several stars slammed tournament organisers but world number 13 Bingham, who reached the second round of the tournament for just the second time in his career, insists events in Milton Keynes were out of WST’s hands.

The 44-year-old said: “I see on social media people saying World Snooker Tour are a joke, but it had nothing to do with them.

“They just had to wait for the tests to come back, so their hands were tied behind their backs. They couldn’t do much, and they’ve got everything back in order now.

“At the moment, with the way that the world is, we’re just lucky we’re playing. It isn’t good when you’re meant to be playing at 2 o’clock and you’re playing at 10 o’clock the next day, but there’s nothing you could do about it.

“I had to just wait for my test results to come back.”

Matches scheduled for 1pm did not take place until over five hours later, while many players due to play in the evening were either still on the table after 1am or told to come back the next morning.

A WST statement said: “The safety of players and officials at events is of the highest priority for WST. We have implemented a strict Covid-19 testing regime which goes above and beyond government requirements. As a result, no player is allowed to compete until a negative test has been provided.

“Testing for all players involved in Monday’s matches took place at least the day before. However, the late arrival of results caused a delay in the day’s matches from the 1pm session onwards. Matches have commenced at the earliest possible times after negative results were received.”

Bingham was given a fright by minnow Hancorn as he went 2-0 down but breaks of 89 and 73 helped haul him over the line.

The 2015 world champion will now face Welsh veteran Lee Walker in his last 64 bout on Wednesday.

He wasn’t fully satisfied with his display against Hancorn but hopes to take confidence as he eyes up a title tilt.

“I played pretty well – it was obviously a bit of a slow start and I missed a couple of balls I shouldn’t have to go 2-0 down,” he added.

“But it was just about a bit of patience – I got the chances and then a few frames on the board, confidence started to get better and I got over the line in the end.

“I’ve started off great and it’s got worse [in tournaments] – today it wasn’t great but I know I can build on it. I’ve got a tough game tomorrow, so I’ll need to be on my game.”

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