THE WINNER of next season’s all new International Championship will receive the biggest ever top-prize handed out for a competition in Asia.
The world ranking event, to be held in China, will run for the first time from October 28 to November 4 this year with a total prize fund of £600,000. As well as a trophy, the winner will receive a giant cash prize of £125,000.
Featuring 32 of the world’s top players and eight Asian wildcards, the competition will run for at least the next five seasons following an agreement between World Snooker and CCTV Sports and Entertainment Co Ltd.
The competition will be deemed as snooker’s new major event as it will have the same level of ranking points as the UK Championship.
The tournament’s host city will be announced in the near future.
World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said the creation of a new ranking tournament and huge prize money is another indication of the current excitement in the sport.
“The International Championship will be an outstanding addition to the calendar and will take snooker into a city which has never staged a professional event before, which will help the sport continue to grow in China,” he said.
“The prize money for this event is the highest ever seen in China, and the incentive for all snooker players to climb to the top of the sport and reap the awards has never been greater.
“Last season there were two ranking events in China, next season there will be five. That shows the level of growth in the region and the hunger of the Chinese fans for more snooker. This tournament will really be something special.”
Two more new events in China are expected to be announced soon.