World Snooker Championship: Holder Mark Selby draws against Jamie Jones in the first round

Place: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Appointment: April 16-May 2
Cover: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Defending champion Mark Selby was drawn against Wales’ Jamie Jones in the first round of the World Championship.

England’s Selby claimed his fourth title at the Crucible last year beating Shaun Murphy, who faces Scotland’s Stephen Maguire in the first round.

World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan faces tough start against David Gilbert, while Judd Trump is up against Iranian debutant Hossein Vafaei.

Masters champion Neil Robertson takes on Ashley Hugill for the first time.

The tournament begins at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield on Saturday with live coverage on the BBC.

Selby, who did not win any silverware this year and was struggling with his mental healthkicks off his campaign against Jones in the morning session before ending in the evening.

But six-time champion O’Sullivan, who returned to the top of the standings just before the event, is involved in picking round one matches against dangerous qualifier Gilbert.

World number 18 Vafaei, 27, said he wanted to ‘inspire more people back home’ in Iran after qualifying to reach the Crucible for the first time but faces a tough task against the 2019 champion Trump.

In a meeting between two former finalists, Kyren Wilson was drawn against China’s Ding Junhui, who has struggled with form in recent years and fell to 29th in the standings.

Elsewhere, three-time winner Mark Williams takes on fellow Welshman Michael White, British champion Zhao Xintong takes on Jamie Clarke, while 2015 winner Stuart Bingham takes on China’s Lyu Haotian.

Full First Round Draw:

Zhao Xintong vs. Jamie Clarke

Judd Trump versus Hossein Vafaei

Neil Robertson vs. Ashley Hugill

Yan Bingtao vs. Chris Wakelin

John Higgins vs. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Kyren Wilson vs. Ding Junhui

Barry Hawkins vs. Jackson Page

Mark Selby vs. Jamie Jones

Anthony McGill vs. Liam Highfield

Shaun Murphy vs Stephen Maguire

Mark Williams vs. Michael White

Mark Allen vs. Scott Donaldson

Ronnie O’Sullivan vs. David Gilbert

Stuart Bingham vs. Lyu Haotian

Jack Lisowski vs. Matthew Stevens

Luca Brecel vs Noppon Saengkham

“Hard to pick a winner”

1991 World Champion John Parrott on BBC Radio 5 Live:

“I did the draw and I don’t think David Gilbert will send me a Christmas card this year – he’s a first-round stonker tie against Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“Ding Junhui against Kyren Wilson is another cracker and Stephen Maguire, who was supposed to pass qualifying, plays Shaun Murphy. Some brilliant first round matches.

“The atmosphere will be great but it’s probably the most open tournament I can remember. The favorite is Neil Robertson who has been the best player this season.

“Some of the qualifiers who qualified were brilliant but it is very difficult to pick a winner. There is so much talent and the event will be so watchable.”

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