Snooker World Cup: Michael White targets title glory for Wales

Michael White is ranked 17th in the world
Michael White is ranked 17th in the world

Michael White believes he and Mark Williams have a great chance of winning snooker's World Cup.

The event for two-man teams starts in Wuxi in China on Monday.

Even though Wales are seeded sixth of the 24 teams - which compete in four groups of six with the top two advancing to the quarter-finals - White is upbeat about their prospects.

"Nothing's acceptable except coming home with the trophy," said the 23-year-old from Neath.

"China, the defending champions, they're strong obviously - they've got [world number four] Ding Junhui - and England have got a very strong team - Stuart Bingham and Mark Selby, the last two world champions.

"But I think we've got a chance of going all the way."

Wales will be in a group with third seeds Australia, plus Northern Ireland, Poland, Qatar and their first opponents Pakistan.

Williams and Matthew Stevens reached the semi-finals the last time the World Cup for teams was staged in 2011 before losing to eventual winners China.

Lifting the World Cup would go a long way to soothing White's disappointment at failing to reach the main draw of the 2015 World Championship.

Having reached the quarter-finals as a qualifier two years ago, the Welshman lost 10-5 against Craig Steadman in the second of three qualifying rounds.

Mark Williams
Mark Williams won the world title in 2000 and 2003

That disappointment was compounded by White having just missed out on an automatic place at the Crucible, reserved for the world's top 16.

That top 16 included Ali Carter - twice a runner-up in Sheffield - who had his 13th-placed ranking protected during his treatment for cancer.

"It was hugely disappointing for me, and especially then to go to the qualifiers and not qualify," White said.

In his build-up to the prestigious event in Sheffield, White had won two tournaments in March.

His first professional title was the Shoot Out in Blackpool, followed by his first ranking event at the Indian Open.

"I was playing with so much confidence I honestly thought that I would have been in with a good chance of winning the title," he said.

"I can say that it didn't affect me mentally going into the qualifiers, but I think deep down it did."

White is currently ranked 17th in the world and says he is determined to return to the top 16.

"I'm going to give myself every chance. I've entered the Australian Open at the end of this month [June] - I didn't play there last year," White added.

"I'll be trying my hardest to get back into the top 16 and to get to the Crucible come next spring."

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