LONDON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- A record six Chinese players will compete in the 2019 world snooker championship to be held at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from April 20-May 6.
Former world number 1 Ding Junhui, who reached the quarterfinals last year, will take on world number 24 Anthony McGill of Scotland in the opening day's competition.
Ding defeated the Scot 13-4 in the second round last year but he will find it harder on Saturday since he has not maintained good form this season, slipping to the 10th on the latest world rankings.
Four of the six players are debutants at this year's championship as Zhao Xintong, Luo Honghao, Tian Pengfei and Li Hang progressed at qualifying. Zhou Yuelong was the other Chinese besides Ding to have experience at the Crucible.
Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan, who just regained the world top spot last month, will face amateur James Cahill in the first round.
Cahill, 23, came through three rounds of qualifying to become the first non-professional to appear in Sheffield.
Defending champion Mark Williams faces Martin Gould and world number two Mark Selby, also a three-time world champion, is up against Zhao Xintong.
World number seven Judd Trump plays Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
This year's tournament will boast a record total prize money of 2.231 million pounds (about 2.9 million U.S. dollars) with the winner collecting a record 500,000 (about 650,000 dollars).