China to host first overseas 'major'

The world ranking event will run from October 28 to November 4 boasting total prize money of £600,000.

To illustrate its arrival as the first overseas major, it will have the same level of ranking points as the UK Championship with the other traditional majors - the Masters in London and the World Championship in Sheffield.

The event will be staged for the next five seasons featuring the game's top 32 and eight Asian wild cards. The host city will be confirmed shortly.

“The International Championship will be an outstanding addition to the calendar and will take snooker into a city which has never staged a professional event before, which will help the sport continue to grow in China," said World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

"The prize money for this event is the highest ever seen in China, and the incentive for all snooker players to climb to the top of the sport and reap the awards has never been greater.

“Last season there were two ranking events in China, next season there will be five. That shows the level of growth in the region and the hunger of the Chinese fans for more snooker. This tournament will really be something special.”

China’s top player Ding Junhui said: "It’s great news for the players and the Chinese fans that we will have a new ranking tournament in China next season. It’s another chance for our supporters there to watch the best players. I’m really excited about playing in the International Championship and I’m sure it will be a great success.”

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