SHEFFIELD, England, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The newly launched World Snooker International Championship will be staged for the first time later this year, with the biggest top prize ever and top competitive level for a snooker event in Asia.
The world ranking event will run from October 28 to November 4 with 600,000 pounds (972,000 dollars) in total prize money and the winner to collect 125,000 pounds (202,000 dollars).
It will have the same level of ranking points as the UK Championship, which is traditionally tipped as one of the "big three" events in a season along with the ongoing World Championship and the Masters.
The tournament will feature 32 of the world's top professional players, plus eight Asian wild cards.
The event will be staged for the next five seasons following an agreement between World Snooker and CCTV Sports & Entertainment Co Ltd.
The host city will be confirmed shortly.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce this fantastic new event, alongside CCTV Sports & Entertainment Co Ltd, a great partner with vast experience in television broadcast and events."
"The International Championship will be an outstanding addition to the calendar and will take snooker into a city which has never staged a professional event before, which will help the sport continue to grow in China.
"The prize money for this event is the highest ever seen in China, and the incentive for all snooker players to climb to the top of the sport and reap the awards has never been greater.
"Last season there were two ranking events in China, next season there will be five.
"That shows the level of growth in the region and the hunger of the Chinese fans for more snooker. This tournament will really be something special."
China's top player Ding Junhui added: "It's great news for the players and the Chinese fans that we will have a new ranking tournament in China next season.
"It's another chance for our supporters there to watch the best players. I'm really excited about playing in the International Championship and I'm sure it will be a great success."