World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan draws amateur James Cahill

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre
James Cahill
James Cahill is the first amateur to reach the Crucible
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will face amateur James Cahill in the first round of the World Championship at the Crucible.

Blackpool's Cahill, 23, came through three rounds of qualifying to become the first non-professional to appear in Sheffield.

His reward is a plum tie against the world number one.

Defending champion Mark Williams faces Martin Gould and world number two Mark Selby is up against Zhao Xintong.

World number seven Judd Trump plays Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The tournament begins on Saturday, live across BBC TV, radio and online, with the winner collecting a record £500,000 in prize money.

Cahill is one of seven debutants appearing this year. Another debutant is Michael Georgiou, the first player from Cyprus to feature at the tournament, who faces Australia's Neil Robertson.

Elsewhere, Scotland's four-time world champion John Higgins, runner-up the past two years, plays Mark Davis, former world champions Stuart Bingham and Graeme Dott come up against each other and Shaun Murphy plays teenager Luo Honghao.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "The quality coming through on a global scale is incredible. The kid James Cahill can play. If Ronnie thinks he has an easy game, he has got another thing coming."

BBC Sport pundit John Parrott said: "The Crucible is the Wembley of snooker, it is the hallowed turf. As a kid growing up you want to play here and get nervous just on the drive up."

Six Chinese players will appear in the first round this year and Parrott added: "You want the young players coming through in the sport and China has been fantastic at providing that."

Full first round draw

Mark Williams (Wal) v Martin Gould (Eng)

David Gilbert (Eng) v Joe Perry (Eng)

Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Li Hang (Chn)

Kyren Wilson (Eng) v Scott Donaldson (Sco)

John Higgins (Sco) v Mark Davis (Eng)

Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Graeme Dott (Sco)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Luo Honghao (Chn)

Neil Robertson (Aus) v Michael Georgiou (Cyp)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Zhao Xintong (Chn)

Luca Brecel (Bel) v Gary Wilson (Eng)

Jack Lisowski (Eng) v Ali Carter (Eng)

Mark Allen (NI) v Zhou Yeulong (Chn)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh (Tha)

Ding Junhui (Chn) v Anthony McGill (Sco)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Tian Pengfei (Chn)

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v James Cahill (Eng)

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