London, April 23 (IANS) The World Snooker Championship has been rescheduled to run from July 31 to August 16. The annual snooker tournament, which was originally scheduled to be held from April 18 to May 4 this year at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, has been rescheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The World Snooker Tour expects that the event can be staged with a full crowd as the Crucible Theatre seats an audience of just under 1,000 spectators.
If that is not possible based on government directives at the time, they will consider playing the event with a reduced crowd or behind closed doors. Postponing it to a later date is also an option.
“It is crucial for our 128 tour players to know that 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,” said the WST chairman Barry Hearn in a statement.
“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.”
There are more than 20 Chinese players in the 128-man tour squad led by world No. 10 Ding Junhui.
“Our sincere hope is that we are able to play the tournament with a full crowd as usual. This event means so much to the fans who have a golden ticket for the Crucible experience, and to the people of Sheffield. The players will desperately want to compete in the atmosphere that only a packed Crucible can generate,” Hearn said.
WST further announced that the World Seniors Snooker Championship, originally planned for the August 12 to 15, will now be played between August 19 and 22.