Ding Junhui will not take part in the upcoming Tour Championship, it has been announced.
This season’s UK Championship winner has pulled out of the ranking event for safety reasons as he is still in China and has opted not to travel to the UK for the event.
Ding had qualified for the Tour Championship having been one of the season’s top eight earners in prize money. The tournament at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes runs between June 20 and 26.
Instead Stephen Maguire, the man Ding beat to win the UK Championship back in December, will take his place.
A statement from the World Snooker Tour said: “WST worked with the UK government to find ways for Ding to play in the event while observing the current quarantine requirements for anyone arriving in the UK.
“However Ding has decided that as a safety precaution he prefers to avoid extensive travel and remain in China at this stage.
“Ding expressed his appreciation for the effort that WST and the UK Government have put into making it possible for him to compete.”
Maguire will face Neil Robertson in the opening round – with the game scheduled to be the opening match of the tournament on Saturday, June 20.