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New dates confirmed for 2020 World Snooker Championship

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World Snooker Championship 2020 postponed

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Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he would welcome a World Championship behind closed doors

The sport’s elite return to The Crucible (Photo by World Snooker)

The rescheduled dates for the 2020 World Snooker Championship have been confirmed, with the event now set to take place from July 31 to August 16.

The sport’s show-piece was initially scheduled for April 18 to May 4 but was postponed last month as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

WST had been in regular consultation with The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Council and the BBC and now plan to commence the World Championship on Friday July 31.

Dates and arrangements for the qualifying rounds are yet to be confirmed, with 128 players vying to join the world’s top 16 in the prestigious main event.

According to WST Chairman Barry Hearn, the preference is to stage the tournament in front of a crowd at The Crucible – which has a capacity of just under 1,000.

However, if government restrictions remain in place, “careful consideration” will be given to other scenarios, including a reduced crowd, playing the tournament behind closed doors, or postponing the event further.

“We are delighted to confirm new dates for this huge global sporting event which has an international television audience of 500 million people,” said Hearn.

“The world is going through a very challenging period, but live sport can be a massive inspiration for the public and can boost morale.

“It is crucial for our 128 tour players to know we are doing everything we can to get our circuit going again as soon as it is considered safe to do so by the government.

“The players are self-employed and they need opportunities to earn, while we keep the health and safety of everyone involved in an event of this scale as a priority.”

Tickets for the tournament will automatically be transferred to equivalent session of the new dates.

It will be the first time in 48 years that the World Championship has been played outside of April or May.

Judd Trump is the defending champion and will be looking to add to his six ranking titles already this season, including the Gibraltar Open – which was played behind closed doors in March.