Brecel Wins Evergrande China Championship

2017 World Cup Teams

Here’s the line up of teams for the 2017 World Cup in Wuxi.

The draw and format will be released soon.

The tournament runs from July 3 to 9, with China’s Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao defending the title.


China A

Ding Junhui
Age: 30
World ranking: 4
Career highlights: China’s best ever player, Ding has won 12 world ranking titles – only five players in snooker history have won more. Ding made his major breakthrough in 2005 when he won the China Open in Beijing, beating Stephen Hendry in the final. He went on to capture the UK Championship crown in 2005 and 2009 and the Masters in 2011. During the 2013/14 season Ding won five ranking titles including three in a row, matching records set by Hendry 20 years earlier. Ding’s biggest ambition in snooker is to win the World Championship and he reached the final for the first time in 2016.

 

Ding and Liang will be partners in Wuxi

Liang Wenbo
Age: 30
World ranking: 11
Career highlights: Liang enjoyed the best moment of his snooker career so far last season when he won his first ranking title. He beat Judd Trump 9-6 in the final of the English Open, and Liang celebrated with joy when he potted the last few balls.  An excellent 2016/17 also saw Liang reach the semi-finals of the World Grand Prix and climb into the world’s top 16. In 2011, Liang and Ding won the snooker World Cup for China, beating Northern Ireland in the final.

 

England

Judd Trump
Age: 27
World ranking: 3
Career highlights: Trump and Hawkins are now playing in the snooker World Cup for the first time. Trump had perhaps the best season of his career in 2016/17, winning two ranking titles. He beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the European Masters, and Marco Fu 10-8 to win the Players Championship. Left-hander Trump came of age in 2011 when he won his first ranking titles at the China Open and UK Championship, as well as reaching the final of the World Championship.

 

Barry Hawkins
Age: 38
World ranking: 5
Career highlights: The player nickname The Hawk soared to fifth place in the world rankings after some excellent performances last season. The highlight came at the World Grand Prix when he beat Ryan Day 10-7 in the final to secure the third ranking title of his career. He was also a semi-finalist at both the Masters and the World Championship. Hawkins’ breakthrough year was 2012, when he won the Shoot Out and the Australian Open. The following year he was runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Championship.

 

Australia

Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson
Age: 35
World ranking: 7
Career highlights: Snooker’s most successful ever non-British player, Robertson has won 12 ranking titles and is one of only ten players to achieved the Triple Crown of the UK Championship, World Championship and the Masters. The Australia’s greatest moment came in 2010 when he beat Graeme Dott in the World Championship final to become the only non-British player other than Cliff Thorburn and Ken Doherty to lift the trophy. Robertson’s most recent title came at the 2016 Riga Masters.

Kurt Dunham
Age: 25
World ranking: 123
Career highlights: Dunham played his first season on the World Snooker Tour in 2016/17 after winning the Oceania Championship. He reached the last 64 of the Paul Hunter Classic and Northern Ireland Open.

 

Hong Kong

Marco Fu

Marco Fu
Age: 39
World ranking: 6
Career highlights: Hong Kong’s best ever player, Fu is hoping to lead his team to World Cup glory. Last December he produced perhaps the best snooker of his career at the Scottish Open. He went all the way to the first prize, beating John Higgins 9-4 in the final. That was Fu’s third career ranking title, having won the 2007 Grand Prix and 2013 Australian Open. He was a semi-finalist at the World Championship in 2006 and 2016 and also reached the final of the 2008 UK Championship and 2011 Masters.

Au Chi Wai
Age: 47
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Veteran Hong Kong cueman Au Chi Wai played alongside Marco Fu at the 2015 World Cup and they finished third in their group. He reached the last 16 of an Asian Tour event in 2014.

 

Scotland

Higgins helped Scotland to the final in 2015, alongside Stephen Maguire

John Higgins
Age: 42
World ranking: 2
Career highlights: Undoubtedly one of snooker’s all time greats, Higgins has won the World Championship on four occasions, and came close to a fifth this year but lost in the final against Mark Selby. Last season was an excellent one for the Wizard of Wishaw as he won the inaugural China Championship as well as the Champion of Champions. At the 2015 World Cup here in Wuxi, Higgins helped Scotland reach the final before they lost to Chinese duo Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong.

 

Anthony McGill
Age: 26
World ranking: 17
Career highlights: Last season saw McGill make the transition from promising youngster to proven winner, as he landed his first two ranking titles. The talented young Scot beat Kyren Wilson in the final of the Indian Open and Xiao Guodong in the final of the Shoot Out. In 2015 he reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship, including a superb win over Mark Selby. McGill is now playing in the World Cup for the first time.

Wales

Mark Williams

Mark Williams
Age: 42
World ranking: 15
Career highlights: Arguably the best Welsh player of all time, Williams has won the World Championship twice at the Crucible, lifting the trophy in 2000 and 2003. In total he has won 18 ranking titles, and during the 2002/03 season he completed the rare feat of taking the World, UK Championship and Masters titles all in the same season, only otherwise achieved by Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry. Williams reached the final of the China Open in Beijing in April before losing to Mark Selby.

 

Ryan Day
Age: 37
World ranking: 18
Career highlights: Day reached the final of a ranking event for the fourth time in his career at the World Grand Prix in February. However he was left waiting for his first title as he lost 10-7 to Barry Hawkins. Day’s previous ranking final defeats came at the 2007 Malta Cup, 2007 Shanghai Masters and 2008 Grand Prix. He has reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship three times.

 

Republic of Ireland

Ken Doherty

O’Brien and Doherty at the 2015 World Cup

Fergal O’Brien
Age: 45
World ranking: 45
Career highlights: O’Brien’s finest hour came at the 1999 British Open when he beat Anthony Hamilton in the final to win his only ranking title. He also reached the final of The Masters in 2001 but suffered a 10-9 reverse against Paul Hunter. Last season O’Brien scored an amazing 6-5 win over Barry Hawkins at the UK Championship, compiling five century breaks.

 

Ken Doherty
Age: 47
World ranking: unranked
Career highlights: Doherty’s career reached its zenith in 1997 when he because the first Irishman – and only the second non-British player – to win the World Championship. He ended Stephen Hendry’s five-year winning streak with an 18-12 victory at the Crucible. Doherty also reached the world final in 1998 and 2003 but lost out to John Higgins and Mark Williams. In all he has won six ranking titles.

 

Christopher Watts

Norway

Kurt Maflin
Age: 33
World ranking: 52
Career highlights: Norway’s top player, Maflin has reached the semi-finals of two ranking events. He got to that stage of the 2013 Players Championship and the 2015 China Open. He also got to the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open last season and his career highlights include making two official 147s. At the 2015 World Cup he played alongside his wife Anita.

 

Christopher Watts
Age: 33
World ranking: unranked
Career highlights: Watts is representing Norway in the World Cup for the first time. He won the 2017 Norwegian Amateur Championship.

 

Northern Ireland

Allen played with Gerard Greene at the 2011 World Cup and they reached the final before losing to China.

Mark Allen
Age: 31
World ranking: 10
Career highlights: Northern Ireland’s most talented player since the days of Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor, Allen has been a regular member of snooker’s top 16 for the past nine years. He has won three ranking titles – taking the Haikou World Open crown in 2012 and 2013 as well as the Players Championship in 2016. He also got to the final of the UK Championship in 2011 before losing to Judd Trump. Allen and Gerard Greene reached the 2011 World Cup final before losing to China.

 

Joe Swail
Age: 47
World ranking: unranked
Career highlights: Swail actually dropped off the professional tour at the end of last season, but bounced straight back via Q School. He has reached the final of one ranking event – the 2009 Welsh Open when he lost to Ali Carter. Swail got to the semi-finals of nine other ranking tournaments including the World Championship in both 2000 and 2001.

 

China B

Zhou Yuelong
Age: 19
World ranking: 32
Career highlights: Zhou and Yan Bingtao captured the trophy at the 2015 World Cup here in Wuxi, beating Scottish duo John Higgins and Stephen Maguire in the final. Since then Zhou has climbed the rankings rapidly on the pro tour and is now into the world’s top 32. Last season he reached the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open and qualified for the World Championship for the first time.

 

Yan Bingtao

Yan Bingtao
Age: 17
World ranking: 56
Career highlights: Yan was aged just 15 when he and Zhou stormed to a sensational victory at the World Cup two years ago, and that remains the greatest moment of his career so far. Last season he won the Rookie of the Year award after a tremendous debut season on the pro tour. Yan leapt into the top 64 of the world rankings, reaching the last 16 of six tournaments.

 

Thailand

Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Age: 32
World ranking: 42
Career highlights: Un-Nooh’s best moment came at the 2015 Six Red World Championship in his native Thailand. He beat Liang Wenbo 8-2 in the final to win a pro tournament for the first time. He has also reached the semi-finals of four ranking events and last season Un-Nooh made his first official 147, having previously missed the final black on two occasions.

 

Noppon Saengkham

Noppon Saengkham

Noppon Saengkham
Age: 24
World ranking: 64
Career highlights: Saengkham has climbed into the world’s top 64 after some impressive performances over the past two seasons. In April he qualified for the final stages of the World Championship for the first time, before losing to Neil Robertson on his Crucible debut. Last year he reached the quarter-finals of the China Open – his best run in a ranking event.

 

Belgium

Luca Brecel
Age: 22
World ranking: 27
Career highlights: Belgium’s finest ever player, gifted potter Brecel has jumped into the world’s top 32. Last year he reached the final of a ranking event for the first time at the German Masters, before losing to Martin Gould. In 2012, at the age of 17, he became the youngest player ever to compete at the Crucible, and in the same year Brecel reached the quarter-finals of the UK Championship.

 

Jeff Jacobs

Jeff Jacobs
Age: 21
World ranking: unranked
Career highlights: Jacobs is lining up for Belgium in the World Cup for the first time. Last year he reached the last 32 of the World Amateur Championship.

 

India

Aditya Mehta
Age: 31

Aditya Mehta

Aditya Mehta

World ranking: 99
Career highlights: Mehta and Pankaj Advani reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Wuxi two years ago before a narrow 4-3 defeat against Scotland. Mehta’s best moment came in his home tournament at the 2013 Indian Open ranking event when he went all the way to the final, though he then lost to Ding Junhui. He is also a former World Games gold medallist.

 

Brijesh Damani
Age: 34
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Damani was runner-up in the Indian National Championship in 2013 and won a gold medal for India’s snooker team at the 2014 Asian Championship. He reached the last 16 of Q School in 2011.

Brazil

Igor Figueiredo

Igor Figueiredo
Age: 39
World ranking: 111
Career highlights: Brazil’s top player, Figueiredo scored some impressive results last season, including runs to the last 16 of the Welsh Open and Gibraltar Open ranking events. He reached the final of the World Amateur Championship in 2009.

 

Itaro Santos
Age: 31
World ranking: 127
Career highlights: Santos won the Pan-American Championship in 2015. In the same year, he and Figueiredo lined up in the World Cup and they scored a famous win over Scotland, eventually finishing fourth in their group.

 

Malta

Alex Borg

Alex Borg

Alex Borg
Age: 48
World ranking: 108
Career highlights: Borg regained a place on the pro tour via Q School last season, and he went on to reach the last 64 of four ranking events. As an amateur he won the European Championship in 2005 and 2006. Borg played in the 2015 World Cup alongside Tony Drago, finishing third in their group.

 

Duncan Bezzina
Age: 36
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Bezzina is the current Maltese amateur champion. He reached the last 16 of the World Amateur Championship in 2010.

 

Iran

Hossein Vafaei
Age: 22
World ranking: 59
Career highlights: Hossein showed the extent of his talent during an excellent 2016/17 season. He reached the semi-finals of the China Open, notably beating Judd Trump, as well as the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Open. Vafaei won the world amateur title in 2011.

 

Soheil Vahedi
Age: 28
World ranking: unranked
Career highlights: Vahedi won the World Amateur Championship last year, beating Andrew Pagett 8-1 in the final. That earned him a place on the pro tour for the first time, and he is also now playing in the World Cup for the first time.

 

Malaysia

Thor Leong

Thor Chuang Leong

Thor Chuan Leong
Age: 29
World ranking: 109
Career highlights: Leong played for Malaysia in the 2015 World Cup – though they failed to win a match.  Last season he reached the last 32 of the World Open and Gibraltar Open ranking events.

 

Moh Keen Ho
Age: 30
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Moh Keen Ho reached the final of the Asian Six Red World Championship last year before losing to Pankaj Advani. He played one season on the pro tour in 2005/06.

 

Germany

Lukas Kleckers
Age: 21
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Kleckers played in the 2015 German World Cup team which scored a notable win over the United Arab Emirates. He is playing on the professional tour for the first time this season after coming through Q School. Last year he reached the last 32 of the Six Red World Championship.

 

Simon Lichtenberg

Simon Lichtenberg
Age: 19
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Lichtenberg is lining up for Germany in the World Cup for the first time. The teenager played in Q School this year and reached the last 64 of event one.

 

Pakistan

Hamza Akbar

Hamza Akbar

Hamza Akbar
Age: 23
World ranking: 112
Career highlights: Akbar represented Pakistan at the 2015 World Cup and they scored superb wins over Australia and Northern Ireland, though in the end they just missed out on a place in the knock out stages. He has been playing on the pro tour since 2015 and reached the last 64 of two ranking events last season.

Shahram Changezi
Age: 34
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Changezi is now playing in the World Cup for the first time. He reached the last 64 of a Players Tour Championship event in 2011.

 

Cyprus

Michael Georgiou

Michael Georgiou

Michael Georgiou
Age: 29
World ranking: 90
Career highlights: Georgiou is now playing his fourth consecutive season on the pro tour and he has reached the last 16 of two rankings events, including last season’s Shoot Out. He won the World Under-21 title back in 2007.

 

Antonis Poullos
Age: 33
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Poullos lines up alongside Georgiou in the first ever Cypriot World Cup team. He reached the last 64 of the World Amateur Championship last year.

 

Switzerland

Alexander Ursenbacher

Alexander Ursenbacher

Alexander Ursenbacher
Age: 21
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Ursenbacher won the European Under-21 title to regain a place on the pro tour. Last season he reached the third qualifying round of the World Championship before being denied a place at the Crucible by Yan Bingtao. He first turned pro in 2013.

 

Darren Paris
Age: 46
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Paris played on the pro tour for several seasons during the 1990s and knocked Stuart Bingham out of the World Championship qualifiers in 1996.

 

Egypt

Hatem Yassen

Hatem Yassen
Age: 30
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Yassen won the African Championship in 2015 to gain a place on the pro tour, and he played on the circuit for two seasons.

 

Basem Eltahhan
Age: 34
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Basem is now competing in the World Cup for the first time. He played in the Six Red World Championship last year, winning two of his five group matches.

 

Israel

Eden Sharav

Eden Sharav

Eden Sharav
Age: 25
World ranking: 83
Career highlights: Sharav came through Q School in 2015 and he is now playing his third season on the pro tour. Last season he reached the last 32 of the Shoot Out and the China Open.

 

Shachar Ruberg
Age: 22
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Ruberg reached the last 16 of Q School in 2015 and the same stage of the Six Red World Championship in 2014.

 

Finland

Robin Hull

Robin Hull

Robin Hull
Age: 42
World ranking: 69
Career highlights: Hull became the first Finnish player to win a pro tournament when he beat Luca Brecel in the final of the Shoot Out last year. He has also reached the quarter-finals of three ranking events and played at the Crucible three times.

 

Heikki Niva
Age: 24
World ranking: Unranked
Career highlights: Niva is now playing in a major tournament for the first time. The former gymnast is rated one of Finland’s most promising snooker players.