Published in the Worcester Standard – Friday, June 15 2012
By Nigel Slater
FOUR of the world’s top snooker stars will battle it out against each other in Great Malvern later this year, it has been announced.
Four-times world champion John Higgins, world number one Mark Selby, China’s Ding Junhui and Stephen Lee will be on the green baize at Malvern Theatres on Thursday, October 11 after the venue was chosen to host a round of games in this season’s Premier League competition.
The night will see Selby take on Ding in a repeat of last season’s Welsh Open final and Higgins will face Lee who last season re-captured some of his best form to return to the top ten of the world rankings.
All four players will be hoping to win crucial points on the night to boost their chances of reaching the Premier League semi-finals as the competition gets into its most critical stages.
Both matches will be six frames long with the winner gaining two points and a point each if it finishes as a draw. Players will be up against the clock and will have only 25 seconds to play a shot under the tournament’s shot clock rule.
It will be the first time in more than three years Worcestershire has staged a top snooker event. The last time came in the 2009 Premier League when Higgins beat eventual winner Shaun Murphy 4-2 and youngster Judd Trump showed his potential with a 4-2 win over seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry.
Malvern Theatres also played host to Premier League matches in 2007 and 2008 and has seen other top names such as Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson and Steve Davis play at the venue.
The competition is played all around the country with ten of the world’s top players battling it to win the Premier League Trophy and a cash prize of £50,000. Other players competing in this year’s Premier League include Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson,Stuart Bingham and Peter Ebdon.
The players have been drawn into two groups of five and after facing each group opponent, the top two from each group will reach the semi-finals.
Tickets are priced from £15 are now available by visiting www.malvern-tickets.co.uk/ or by calling the Malvern Theatres Box Office on 01684 892277.