The World Snooker Tour will stage a minimum of three tournaments in China later this year, including the first world ranking events since 2019.
The tournaments with a combined prize fund of more than £2 million are:
- Shanghai Masters – invitational with 24 players. September 11-17
- Wuhan Open – world ranking event. October 9-15
- International Championship – world ranking event. November 5-12. Host city to be confirmed
The last professional snooker tournament staged in China was the World Open in 2019 when Judd Trump emerged with victory in Yushan.
At that time the reigning world champion, Trump also won the same season’s International Championship in Daqing while Ronnie O’Sullivan triumphed in the Shanghai Masters.
WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “This is a momentous announcement for our sport as we ramp up our return to staging events in Asia.”
“To have a minimum of two world ranking events, plus a major invitation tournament, in China later this year is fantastic for the players and fans.
“Throughout the pandemic we have maintained dialogue and relationships with the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association as well as our key partners and promoters across China.
“This has allowed us to make a fast return to staging key events now that travel restrictions have lifted.
“We promised our players that this was top of our agenda and we have delivered on that promise, adding more than £2 million in prize money to the tour.
“We will continue to explore opportunities to stage further events in China and beyond.
“We are excited to host a tournament for the first time in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province and a vibrant city of 11 million people.
“The Shanghai Masters has a long history and is renowned for its prestige.
“There is a vast appetite for snooker among fans in China and they will keenly anticipate the return of our star players.
“We look forward to working with our partners on building a bright future for snooker in the region.”
Provisional 2023/24 snooker season calendar
|26-June 6||Q School||Leicester|
|1-14||Asia-Oceania Q School||Bangkok|
|24-29||European Masters qualifying||Leicester|
|14-19||British Open qualifying||Leicester|
|1-9||English Open qualifying|
Wuhan Open qualifying
|18-23||International Championship qualifying||Sheffield|
|25-Oct 1||British Open||Cheltenham|
|16-20||Northern Ireland Open qualifying||Sheffield|
|22-29||Northern Ireland Open||Belfast|
|30-Nov 3||Scottish Open qualifying||Leicester|
|13-19||Champion of Champions||Bolton|
|18-23||UK Championship qualifying||Leicester|
|25-Dec 3||UK Championship||York|
|18-23||German Masters qualifying||Sheffield|
|15-21||World Grand Prix||Leicester|
|22-28||Welsh Open qualifying|
Six Red World Championship qualifying
|29-Feb 4||German Masters||Berlin|
|26-Mar 2||CLS3 (invitational)||Leicester|
|4-9||Six Red World Championship||Bangkok|
|30-31||World Mixed Doubles||TBC|
|8-17||World Championship qualifying||Sheffield|
|20-May 6||World Championship||Sheffield|
Featured photo credit: WST