• Snooker

World Championship will move from Crucible to China - White

ESPN staff
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The World Championship has been held at the Crucible since 1977 © PA Photos
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Jimmy White believes the World Championship will be staged in China one day following the rapid rise of snooker in the country.

The sport's showpiece occasion has been held at the Crucible in Sheffield since 1977, and World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn declared the event would never move away from the famous theatre during his time.

However White, a six-time runner-up at the Worlds, feels it is 'inevitable' the tournament will have a new location.

"I would always want to see the World Championship stay where it is but it will go to China one day. I can't see it not happening," White said.

Ding Junhui has been responsible for the popularity of the sport growing in China. The country stages five of the scheduled 11 ranking events in the season, and White says the performances of eight-time ranking title winner Ding in the coming years will see the Worlds move to the Far East.

"The people in China love their snooker. We get a fantastic reception when we go over there," he said.

"But if Ding keeps performing the way he has been doing then it is inevitable the World Championship will go to his country."

The latest event taking place in China is the International Championship, and defending champion Judd Trump crashed out of the event after being edged out 6-5 by Alan McManus.

World No. 1 Neil Robertson claimed a 6-4 victory over Alex Davies, with current Masters and UK champion Mark Selby whitewashing Jamie Burnett 6-0. Former world champion Shaun Murphy meanwhile was defeated 6-4 by David Gilbert.

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