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20 Jan, 2020 12:38

‘That's not in the referee's rulebook’: Play stops for wasp sting at London Masters

A referee winced in pain and was consoled by world number eight Kyren Wilson before needing medical treatment after being attacked by a wasp he caught on the table during a match at the London Masters snooker tournament.

Top snooker referee Ben Williams bravely grabbed the insect after spotting it over a pocket during the fifth frame of the first round match between Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski at Alexandra Palace.

He flinched his arm and grimaced in pain after taking a sting to the hand for his troubles, confessing: “It got me.”

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World number eight Wilson, who was reported to have had the wasp on his collar before it encroached on play, noticed Williams had removed his glove and embraced the official.

Williams told Wilson that the sting had “gone right through me” before a medic applied treatment to his hand and a pair of concerned tournament organizers watched him agree to take a tablet in order to stop the swelling.

The Bolton official, who has refereed at the Crucible and oversaw his first final at the 2017 Riga Masters, took the pain in good humor.

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As the doctor rubbed cream into his palm, Williams revealed: “I’ll tell you what it is - it’s when I stretch. It’s when I stretch my hand.”

Commentators for Eurosport called Williams “very valiant,” telling fans: “It’s not necessarily in the referee’s rulebook that he has to do this but he stepped in. It got him – nasty.”

Wilson won the match but was knocked out in the next round by Stuart Bingham, who went on to win the £250,000 prize.