Ronnie O’Sullivan gets wish granted by snooker bosses as announcement made……

Ronnie O’Sullivan gets wish granted by snooker bosses as announcement made…..

The World Snooker Tour (WST) has announced that the Xi’an Grand Prix, a new ranking tournament, will make its debut in August of the following year. Following Ronnie O’Sullivan’s threat to ponder retirement if he is not permitted to compete in Asia more frequently, this is the fifth tournament that has been arranged in China.

Xi’an, the capital of the Shaanxi Province in central China, will likely host some of the biggest names in snooker including O’Sullivan – who is currently taking a break from the sport. The Grand Prix joins the Shanghai Masters, Wuhan Open, International Championship and World Open as fixtures of the 2024/25 season in China.

A massive £850,000 in total prize money will be up for grabs in this competition; that amount will rise by an extra £25,000 over the next two years. It exceeds the £825,000 prize pool of the International Championship, which Zhang Anda won in November. The winner of this year will take home £177,000.

The announcement could be seen as an attempt to make amends with O’Sullivan by the WST following his grievances about not being allowed to participate in China as much as he would have liked. O’Sullivan and other prominent UK players have contracts to compete in WST events; if they choose to skip them in order to participate in international exhibitions, they risk facing repercussions.

Not only is a fifth event in China added to the WST calendar, but it also opens the door for more exhibition tournaments to be scheduled around the Grand Prix, which O’Sullivan stands to profit from after his pleas in November to compete in Asia more often.

“If I can’t go and do what I need to do, which is play a lot in China, I won’t ever play again,” O’Sullivan told the BBC. “So, we’re at a kind of crossroads now.

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