Ronnie O'Sullivan ready to make snooker comeback

Ronnie O'Sullivan poses with the World championship
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has taken a break from snooker

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan is set to end his self-imposed exile from tournament snooker.

The 36-year-old announced in June that he had decided after refusing to sign the official players' contract.

But his management company says he has entered the inaugural International Championship in China and the UK Championship in York.

And O'Sullivan tweeted:external-link "Happy to be back in snooker. See you all soon xx."

He captured his fourth world title in May with an 18-11 victory over Ali Carter at the Crucible but afterwards spoke of his desire to take a six-month sabbatical from the sport.

He also found himself at loggerheads with World Snooker, the sport's governing body, accusing chairman Barry Hearn of "blackmailing" players and criticising plans for a revamped 50-week, 27-event circuit.

Announcing his break from the game the next month, he said he would not sign the players' contract because it was "too onerous". As a result, he made himself ineligible for any World Snooker-sanctioned event.

But O'Sullivan said he was not walking away from the game permanently and still wanted to "visit those places around the world such as China where snooker is enthusiastically received and adored".

The International Championship in China from 28 October to 4 November could now be the scene of his comeback after his management company, Grove Snooker, tweeted:external-link "Good news. @ronnieo147 may be playing again. Contract clarified. UK and International in China entered."

The UK Championship follows in York from 1-9 December - a tournament he has won on four occasions, most recently in 2007.

Hearn confirmed that he met O'Sullivan on Monday evening and the player had now signed a contract.

"We are obviously very pleased that Ronnie has decided to come back to snooker, the sport he loves," said Hearn. "This is great news for his many fans around the world. We welcome him back with open arms."