Excitement is building in the world of snooker with the sport’s blue ribbon event the World Championship just weeks away.
There are now just dozens of days left before the snooker spotlight returns to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield for the sport’s biggest event of them all.
Mark Selby, who has had a disappointing season so far, has won the last two World Championship titles and will be hoping to win it for a third year running and his fourth in total.
Stopping in him his tracks will be the likes of the in-form Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams , Judd Trump, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and many more of the sport’s top names. Or will another name spring a major surprise in the weeks to come?
The tournament starts on Saturday, April 21 but there’s a lot of action to come before then.
Next week’s China Open will be the richest in the tournament’s history with total prize money reaching the golden £1million figure. This year’s winner of the China Open – the last ranking event before the World Championship – will win a whopper £225,000.
Then shortly afterwards the countdown to the Crucible begins with the World Championship qualifiers. The event will see those outside the world’s top 16 have to play a maximum of three matches to secure their place in the World Championship draw.
Here, The Old Green Baize runs down the key dates left in the snooker season.
Monday, April 2 – China Open starts
Sunday, April 8 – China Open final (best of 21 frames)
Wednesday, April 11 – World Championship Qualifiers start
Tuesday, April 17 – Final round of World Championship Qualifiers start
Thursday, April 19 – The draw to be made for the World Championship first round (this is still to be officially announced)
Saturday, April 21 – The World Championship begins
Thursday, May 3 – World Championship semi-finals begin (one table set-up at Crucible Theatre)
Sunday, May 6 / Monday, May 7 – World Championship Final