Jimmy White Receives New Invitational Tour Card

The decision means the Whirlwind can compete on the Main Tour for another two seasons.

Jimmy White will be back on the Main Tour next season after being given a fresh Invitational Tour Card, it has been announced by the World Snooker Tour and WPBSA.

Last week, the 58 year-old lost in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship qualifiers to old rival Stephen Hendry – a result which left him outside the top 64 in the world rankings list.

Prior to the preliminaries in Sheffield, White had been among a group of eight players set to receive a new tour-card via the separate one-year rankings list, but results elsewhere have seen him drop below that bracket as well.

It was generally expected that White, a ten-time ranking event winner and former world number two, was going to receive a new Invitational Tour Card in such a case, and so it has proven.

In a joint statement, WST Chairman Barry Hearn and WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: “Jimmy is one of snooker’s one-time greats, not only in terms of his achievements on the table, but also in his massive worldwide popularity.”

“He has done so much to promote snooker through his playing style and charisma. He remains a great asset to our sport and we had no hesitation in offering him a tour card for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons.”

White said: “I would like to thank Barry and Jason, I am very grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to a new start next season.”

The six-time World Championship finalist’s form improved in the second half of this season, beating the likes of Stuart Bingham to reach the last 16 of the Gibraltar Open.

A win in the world qualifiers probably would have secured his safety in his own right, but the nerves of the occasion seemed to get the better of him.

There will be many who will argue that White doesn’t deserve another Invitational Tour Card as he takes up a place that could be accepted by a younger player of pedigree.

But the fact is that a great deal of fans still love the Londoner, and even though his best days are long behind him, White remains able to attract a huge audience.

The 1984 Masters champion will now get at least another two cracks in the next couple of terms at achieving his aspiration of making a return to the Crucible Theatre.

Hendry, Ken Doherty, and Marco Fu are also set to participate via the Invitational Tour Card during the upcoming 2021/22 snooker season.

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