Ronnie O’Sullivan is widely credited as the greatest snooker player of all time, but his influence is wider than the sport in which he competes.
England batsman Zak Crawley has revealed how the Rockets have impacted Ben Stokes’ Test side in recent years.
No player has won more World Snooker Championships than O’Sullivan, while he won his record-extending eighth Masters earlier this month.
But no one demands more from the 48-year-old than himself and he is not happy with the way he is playing despite winning the last three tournaments.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is inspiring England cricketers with his approach to snooker
Ever since Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes joined the team in 2022, the England Test team has adopted a positive style of play.
The Buzzball approach places more importance on how you play rather than the results you get.
Crowley says O’Sullivan played a role in inspiring that mental outlook.
He said, “I really like the way Ronny plays and talks about the game. For him, the way he plays is more important than the result.”
“It’s such a powerful mindset. It’s hard to get into, but whenever you get into that mindset, you find yourself playing better.”
“The Falcons are big on this. He talks about it all the time, that the way we play is more important in the long run, and that will get results.
“Baz always finds the right moment to speak. He definitely has an aura about him. He’s never negative.
“He’s an optimist. We need that sometimes in the English game. As a nation we’re quite pessimistic sometimes.”
England have often been criticized for their aggressive approach and they struggled on the opening day of the first Test against India.
But speaking before the match started, Crawley insisted they would not be playing any different games.
He said, “We are not going to change our approach. It has to be assessed when the time comes. We talk about being fully present.”
“If you are not there, you build all these ideas about what it will be like, what the pitches will be like, but we can come and the first Test is on a belter of pitches.
“We can move forward and it’s a huge turner, so you have to adapt your gameplan and play from the situation.
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Ronnie O’Sullivan is a source of inspiration for the England cricket team
“You can’t decide until you’re there and read the situation. This time would be much better.”
O’Sullivan has often thought about retirement and his recent comments have further raised the possibility of this possibility.
But he hopes to continue playing professionally for many years if he starts enjoying it again.
O’Sullivan told WST: “I still haven’t changed my stance, to be honest I’m still not enjoying playing because I’m not playing at the level or consistency I’m looking for.
Ronnie O’Sullivan holds himself to the highest standards
“To be honest it’s a bit cluttered, it stops me enjoying the game.
“So I’m just struggling but I think it’s good that I take a break now.
“Because I want to play for the next five or six years but I’m not sure I can keep playing tournament after tournament and not enjoy it.”