Mark Allen: Northern Irishman not looking forward to prospect of empty Crucible

Allen's 2-2 draw with Martin O'Donnell saw him exiting in Milton Keynes
Mark Allen bowed out of the Milton Keynes event despite not having lost a match

Mark Allen dreads walking out at an empty World Championships in July.

Allen went out of the Snooker Championship League - played behind closed doors in Milton Keynes - on frame difference after 3-1 wins over Nigel Bond and Michael White and a 2-2 draw with Martin O'Donnell.

The 34-year-old praised World Snooker for restarting the sport but admitted misgivings over a sterile atmosphere.

"It wouldn't be nice walking into the Crucible if it was like this," he said.

Speaking before his matches on Monday, Allen added: "There's so much on the line and the crowd normally gets involved in the matches and it can get on top of you, and I think that's part of the game that we will miss.

"I was very surprised that they staged this tournament because I didn't think they'd be anywhere near ready on 1 June and it just shows what a good job Barry Hearn and the team at World Snooker have done."

A break of 62 for O'Donnell in the fourth match helped him seal the 2-2 draw, meaning Allen's dropped frames against Bond and Michael White proved costly.

In common with most of his big-name contemporaries, world number seven Allen was using this week's return event as a chance to become used to the unusual environment which he believes he will have endure for some time.

"I think the way this tournament has been set up is a sign of the times and the next few months is going to be similar," Allen said.

"I wanted to get used to playing behind closed doors without a crowd and having to get your own equipment.

"It's a big change from what we're used to but they've done an unbelievable job keeping us safe."

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