Mark Selby v Jimmy White: China Championship Qualifier preview – Jester and Whirlwind vie for Guangzhou spot

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People's champion Jimmy White looks on (credit:World Snooker)

People’s champion Jimmy White looks on (credit:World Snooker)

World number one Mark Selby aims to secure his place in the 2018 China Championship at the expense of veteran Jimmy White when the pair collide in the qualifying round in Preston on Monday.

The tournament will be the fifth ranking event of the 2018/19 season and offers a lucrative total prize fund of £700,000.

All main tour professionals are required to win one qualifying round match in order to secure their place in the world ranking event in Guangzhou from September 24-30.

Selby suffered a shock defeat to Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham in the Last 16 of the World Open in what was his first competitive appearance since crashing out of the World Championship in the opening round back in April.

Mark Williams’ World Open triumph means he is now closing in on Selby’s world number one spot – which ‘The Jester’ has held since February 2015 – and Selby will be keen to fend off the in-form Welshman.

Selby is the reigning International Champion and China Open champion and has regularly produced his best form on Chinese soil in recent years, meaning he will be determined to get his hands on this trophy for the first time.

White, meanwhile, remains the oldest player on the professional tour at 56 and will be out to roll back the years and claim a famous scalp.

The six-time world finalist has suffered back-to-back defeats in qualifying, meaning he will miss out on the Indian Open and European Masters.

His only victory of the season so far saw him whitewash Rodion Judin in the First Round of the Riga Masters before then being whitewashed himself by Ricky Walden in the Last 64.

World ranked 73, White’s last win over Selby came in the Irish Masters back in 2005, with Selby having since recorded 5-1 routs of ‘The Whirlwind’ in the 2014 China Open and 2016 World Open.

The match gets underway from 2.30pm BST at the Preston Guild Hall and will be contested over the best of nine frames.