Ronnie O to Face Peter Ebdon at the Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan will take on Peter Ebdon in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, which starts on Saturday.

The random draw took place on Talksport radio earlier today with the top 16 seeds pitted at against the 16 qualifiers.

The Championship runs from April 21 to May 7 and TICKETS FOR SELECTED SESSIONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE. For details call 0844 6565 147 or visit

Three-time World Champion O'Sullivan will have a tough task against in-form Ebdon, who won the Bank of Beijing China Open earlier this month and thrashed Alfie Burden 10-0 in his qualifying match for Sheffield yesterday.

On the opening day of the £1.1 million tournament, defending champion John Higgins will take on China's Liang Wenbo, a former Shanghai Masters finalist who is currently ranked 38th in the world.

Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel, age 17 years and one month, will become the youngest player ever to compete at the Crucible when he faces Stephen Maguire.

Two more debutants, Welshman Jamie Jones and China's Cao Yupeng, were drawn out against Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen respectively.

Seven time champion Stephen Hendry came through the qualifiers and has been handed a tie with Stuart Bingham, who beat Hendry in the first round on his Crucible debut in 2000.

Last year's Crucible runner-up Judd Trump will meet Dominic Dale, while the only two non-British former champions in the field, Neil Robertson and Ken Doherty, will go head to head in the opening round.

The full draw is:

John Higgins v Liang Wenbo (Saturday April 21 10am and 7pm)
Stuart Bingham v Stephen Hendry (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Graeme Dott v Joe Perry (Tuesday April 24 2.30pm and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Stephen Maguire v Luca Brecel (Sunday April 22 10am and Monday April 23 10am)
Shaun Murphy v Jamie Jones (Sunday April 22 2.30pm and Monday April 23 2.30pm)
Stephen Lee v Andrew Higginson (Monday April 23 7pm and Tuesday April 24 7pm)
Ali Carter v Mark Davis (Wednesday April 25 7pm and Thursday April 26 1pm)
Judd Trump v Dominic Dale (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 2.30pm)
Mark Williams v Liu Chuang (Wednesday April 25 2.30pm and Thursday April 26 7pm)
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Peter Ebdon (Monday April 23 2.30pm and Tuesday April 24 2.30pm)
Martin Gould v David Gilbert (Saturday April 21 10am and Sunday April 22 10am)
Neil Robertson v Ken Doherty (Saturday April 21 2.30pm and Sunday April 22 7pm)
Ding Junhui v Ryan Day (Tuesday April 24 10am and Wednesday April 25 10am)
Mark Allen v Cao Yupeng (Saturday April 21 7pm and Sunday April 22 2.30pm)
Matthew Stevens v Marco Fu (Monday April 23 10am and 7pm)
Mark Selby v Barry Hawkins (Tuesday April 24 7pm and Wednesday April 25 7pm)

There are also hospitality packages up for grabs and it's THE ONLY WAY TO SEE THE FINAL as tickets are sold out. For details call Frank Smith on 01277 359925