Snooker's World Championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and could now be played in July or August.

The tournament, which has been staged at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, since 1977, becomes the latest sporting event to fall by the wayside.

It had been due to run from April 18 to May 4, with its qualifying event taking place from April 8-15.

England's Judd Trump is the reigning world champion.

In a statement confirming the postponement, the World Snooker Tour (WST) said: "WST intends to host the final stages at the Crucible on rescheduled dates in July or August."

WST chairman Barry Hearn said: "These are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it.

"Fans around the world – as well as the 144 players involved – are anxious to know if and when the World Championship will go ahead. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible.

"Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive, with more details to follow next week.

"Live televised coverage of the biggest sporting events can be an inspiration to people around the world in these challenging times, so it is important that we strive to find solutions for our tournaments."

The coronavirus pandemic continues to inflict chaos upon the sporting schedule.

Further delays to the return of the WTA Tour and the Bundesliga were confirmed on Monday as Cricket South Africa announced a blanket ban on games at all levels for 60 days.

There are still some competitions across the globe going ahead, though - here are five of the best to look forward to on Tuesday.

 

Rosario Central v Colon - Argentina Copa de la Superliga

The competition continues despite concerns from the likes of River Plate, who refused to play their scheduled match against Atletico Tucuman on health and safety grounds.

Tuesday's Group B game sees Angel Di Maria's boyhood team Rosario Central, who competed in last year's Copa Libertadores, host Colon.

Anadolu Efes v Bursaspor - Basketbol Super Ligi

Anadolu Efes can move top of the table in Turkey's top basketball league when they face Bursaspor on Tuesday.

The visitors will be eager to boost their own postseason ambitions in a match that was postponed back in February due to national team commitments.

Semi-finals - Pakistan Super League play-offs

Tuesday sees the final four compete at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for a place in Thursday's final.

Multan Sultans, who finished top of the league, face Peshawar Zalmi in the first match before Karachi Kings take on Lahore Qalandars.

Goztepe v Rizespor - Turkish Super Lig

The top flight in Turkey continues, with Rizespor hoping to climb out of the bottom three when they take on Goztepe, who are eighth.

The visitors are winless in seven Super Lig matches but held Goztepe to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture in September.

Neil Robertson v Ding Junhui - Tour Championship

Seven of the world's top 10 male snooker players descend on Venue Cymru for the prestigious Tour Championship, which will be played behind closed doors.

With in-form Judd Trump not involved until Wednesday, the early pick of the quarter-finals sees world number two Neil Robertson against Ding Junhui, which will be just their second meeting in the past four years.

Shaun Murphy faces Mark Allen in a repeat of last month's Players Championship quarter-final, which the former won 6-2, and Mark Selby takes on surprise Southport finalist Yan Bingtao.

Judd Trump became the first snooker player to win six ranking titles in a season as the world champion landed the Gibraltar Open behind closed doors on Sunday.

The feat of five wins in a season has previously been achieved by Ronnie O'Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui and Mark Selby, but Trump went one step further with his latest success.

Three centuries in a 4-3 win over fellow Englishman Kyren Wilson gave him a £50,000 winners' cheque, and Trump landed a £150,000 bonus too for finishing top of the European Series prize-money list.

The 30-year-old had runs of 125, 144 and 123 in his victory over Wilson, which saw history achieved without any spectators because of concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

World number one Trump's dazzling success in the 2019-20 season before carrying off the Gibraltar title had seen him win the International Championship, World Open, Northern Ireland Open, German Masters and Players Championship.

Snooker will join a growing list of sports to have held events in Saudi Arabia after a lucrative £2.5million tournament in Riyadh was added to the 2020-21 season calendar.

On the same weekend Anthony Joshua reclaimed his heavyweight boxing titles by defeating Andy Ruiz Jr in the latest major sporting occasion to be held in the nation, World Snooker confirmed it had agreed a 10-year deal with Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, the father of Joshua's promoter Eddie, hailed the news, which will see a 128-player tournament take place in Riyadh from October 4-10 next year.

"This is a giant leap forward for our sport. We have enjoyed tremendous global expansion over the past decade, particularly in Asia and Europe, and we are thrilled to stage a new and momentous tournament in the Middle East," he said.

"We have a packed calendar throughout the year, which creates a competitive marketplace for new events. Snooker has grown to such an extent that we are now creating exceptional tournaments at this level."

However, the deal is also likely to prompt staunch criticism and accusations of 'sportswashing', with Amnesty International having last week labelled Saudi Arabia's human rights record as "dire", "heinous" and "appalling".

Eddie Hearn defended the decision to hold Joshua's rematch with Ruiz in the country, stating: "Our job is to provide opportunities to the fighters.

"I was driving up and down the road thinking of all the criticism I’ve been getting. And I passed Gucci, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Versace and Ralph Lauren. And although it is easy for us to also say Formula E, the tennis Super Cup, and the PGA Tour is here too, I also believe that no one has the right to tell a fighter how and where they can earn their money.

"The sportswashing thing is something over my head."

Shaun Murphy made a Goofy blunder which kept him out of the Paul Hunter Classic, but the 2005 Crucible champion recovered to make a strong start in the Shanghai Masters.

Murphy sustained an injury in Dopey fashion when he suffered a suspected partial Achilles tendon tear while dancing to Disney's Greatest Hits with his young son.

The injury resulted in Murphy having to rest up ahead of the Shanghai Masters, which has a total prize money of up to £751,000 on offer – enough to leave anyone grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

However, Murphy showed no signs of struggling with his recovery as he eased past Lyu Haotian 6-1 on Monday.

"I felt something go in my leg. I thought for a minute I had snapped my Achilles tendon, but the doctor later told me if I had done that I would have gone down like a sack of spuds," the 37-year-old told World Snooker.

"He said I might well have partially torn it and he advised me to rest it as much as possible, so I sat in the house for two weeks, doing my wife's brain in.

"I was relieved to be able to get back to the table last week for a few days. It's not ideal preparation but I'm glad to be here and to get a win under my belt."

Murphy went on to beat Mark Williams 6-5 on Tuesday, coming back from 5-4 down, and will face Jack Lisowski in the quarter-finals.

Simona Halep kept herself in the frame for a first Wimbledon title and England's cricketers created an increased buzz in SW19 on Thursday.

Halep potted a semi-final win against Elina Svitolina before being asked about her interest in snooker given three-time world champion Mark Selby is one of only two people she follows on Twitter.

David Beckham was among the famous faces in the Royal Box to see Halep and Serena Williams seal their places in the women's singles final.

There was also excitement at the All England Club for a major sporting showdown taking place in Birmingham, where England beat Australia to reach the Cricket World Cup final.

Catch up on what was happening around the grounds on day 10 of the grass-court grand slam.

 

POCKET ROCKET HALEP CLEARS UP SELBY FOLLOW

Halep has huge Twitter support but chooses those she follows carefully, selecting only her former coach Darren Cahill and Leicester cueman Selby.

Romania's 2018 French Open champion might not know the intricacies of snooker, but she is a fan of the player nicknamed 'The Jester'.

"I have no idea how you play snooker. But I appreciate him." Halep said.

"He's been in Romania a few times. I met him. Also I have a snooker ball signed from him. That's why I follow him."

 

AUSTRALIA SOS SIGNALS CREATE A RACKET

Crowds gathered to watch a band strike up with numbers such as Abba's SOS as Pimm's and champagne flowed late in the morning.

The distress signals from Australia players at Edgbaston also went down well as word reached Wimbledon that England were on course to reach the World Cup final.

Australia's early collapse in their semi-final was being discussed on the walk-up towards the All England Club grounds and as the tennis was taking place.

While some were clearly as confused by the cricket as Halep is by snooker, the majority were looking forward to another huge final in London this weekend after England set up a clash with New Zealand at Lord's.

 

BECKS AND BRANSON WATCH ON

Beckham is a Wimbledon regular and all eyes were on the former England football captain when he rocked up in dapper attire.

As Halep and Williams made statements on the main showcourt, Beckham made one of his own with a gold jacket, blue and white striped shirt and a snazzy tie.

Sir Richard Branson sat just along from Beckham to witness Halep and Williams go about their business in ruthless fashion.

 

AMERICAN ROGER FAN FED UP

While most people know what is in store well before they arrive at Wimbledon, there can be the odd one unsure what action will be served up.

An American visitor was heard asking "What time is Federer on?" and appeared bemused when informed he faces Rafael Nadal on Friday.

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