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Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump.

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
23/05/2020 at 07:08 | Updated 23/05/2020 at 09:20

World champion Judd Trump and five-times Crucible winner Ronnie O'Sullivan could meet In Milton Keynes when snooker comes out of cold storage for the Championship League next month.

The 64-man event will take place between June 1 and June 11 behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena.

It will be the first major UK sport to be broadcast since the global coronavirus pandemic decimated the sporting calendar.

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Snooker has not staged a tournament since Trump lifted his sixth ranking event of the season with a 4-3 win over Kyren Wilson at the Gibraltar Open on March 15.

The draw for the Championship League also includes former world champions Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham.

With all the big guns avoiding each other in the early rounds, there is the prospect of some major duels for the £30,000 first prize with a Trump and O'Sullivan clash on the cards if both men can progress.

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O'Sullivan has been drawn in Group 10 and will face Chris Wakelin, Michael Georgiou and Kishan Hirani on Friday 5 June. He could face a potential grudge match with fierce Essex rival Ali Carter on Tuesday 9 June if both men win their respective groups.

Trump is in Group 2 and will meet Daniel Wells, Elliot Slessor and David Grace on the opening day of the event on Monday 1 June. He could come across old foe Wilson in the next group stage if he makes a winning start to the event.

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All group matches will be played over four frames and begin at 3pm (BST) each day apart from Friday 5 June which has a 4pm (BST) start.

Under strict government health guidelines, it could provide a blueprint for how the sport will be able to stage the delayed World Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield which is due to run between 31 July and 16 August.

Championship League details

Monday 1 June

  • Group 2
  • Judd Trump
  • Daniel Wells
  • Elliot Slessor
  • David Grace
  • Group 13
  • David Gilbert
  • Stuart Carrington
  • Jak Jones
  • Jackson Page

Tuesday 2 June

  • Group 9
  • Jack Lisowski
  • Luca Brecel
  • Robbie Williams
  • Oliver Lines
  • Group 3
  • Michael Holt
  • Mark Davis
  • Mark Joyce
  • Louis Heathcote

Wednesday 3 June

  • Group 12
  • Kyren Wilson
  • Ryan Day
  • Alfie Burden
  • Chen Feilong
  • Group 4
  • Joe Perry
  • Mark King
  • Sam Baird
  • Harvey Chandler

Thursday 4 June

  • Group 5
  • Mark Selby
  • Liang Wenbo
  • Joe O’Connor
  • Lee Walker
  • Group 14
  • Gary Wilson
  • Matthew Stevens
  • John Astley
  • Mitchell Mann

Friday 5 June

  • Group 10
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan
  • Chris Wakelin
  • Michael Georgiou
  • Kishan Hirani
  • Group 15
  • Tom Ford
  • Robert Milkins
  • Mike Dunn
  • Ian Burns

Saturday 6 June

  • Group 1
  • Stuart Bingham
  • Ricky Walden
  • Jordan Brown
  • Jamie Clarke
  • Group 8
  • Jimmy Robertson
  • Ben Woollaston
  • Liam Highfield
  • Alex Ursenbacher

Sunday 7 June

  • Group 16
  • Neil Robertson
  • Kurt Maflin
  • Ken Doherty
  • Ashley Carty
  • Group 7
  • Barry Hawkins
  • Anthony McGill
  • Craig Steadman
  • Hammad Miah

Monday 8 June

  • Group 11
  • Mark Allen
  • Martin O’Donnell
  • Michael White
  • Nigel Bond
  • Group 6
  • Ali Carter
  • Matt Selt
  • Sam Craigie
  • Dominic Dale

Group Winners’ Stage

Tuesday 9 June

  • Group C
  • Winner of Group 10
  • Winner of Group 6
  • Winner of Group 1
  • Winner of Group 4
  • Group D
  • Winner of Group 15
  • Winner of Group 11
  • Winner of Group 8
  • Winner of Group 5

Wednesday 10 June

  • Group B
  • Winner of Group 12
  • Winner of Group 2
  • Winner of Group 7
  • Winner of Group 13
  • Group A
  • Winner of Group 14
  • Winner of Group 3
  • Winner of Group 9
  • Winner of Group 16

Tournament finals

Thursday 11 June

  • Winner of Group C
  • Winner of Group D
  • Winner of Group B
  • Winner of Group A

Other details from the Championship League tournament have been revealed by the game's organisers World Snooker Tour:

  • Social distancing measures in place throughout the venue.
  • Players seated at least two metres apart during matches.
  • Players using anti-bacterial hand sanitiser before matches and avoiding handshakes.
  • Referees endeavouring to keep two metres away from players where possible.
  • There will be no access for players’ guests.
  • First aid personnel on site at all times.

World Snooker Tour said: "All players, staff and contractors will be virus-tested prior to entering the venue and will be in isolation until their results are known. Players will require a negative test result in order to enter the venue. They will play all group matches on one day, remaining on site throughout, and will then leave the venue."

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