Masters snooker: David Gilbert replaces suspended Yan Bingtao in draw

December 27, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2022 Cazoo UK Championship - Day 4
David Gilbert gets an unexpected crack at the Masters (Picture: Getty Images)

David Gilbert will take Yan Bingtao’s place in the Masters next month after the Chinese star’s suspension amid the ongoing match-fixing investigation in snooker.

Yan, who won the Masters on debut in 2021, was suspended from World Snooker Tour events on 12 December and now the 14-day window to appeal the suspension has closed.

Therefore the next player in the rankings at the cut-off point for the Masters takes his place in the draw, so Gilbert steps in as he was number 17 in the world at that point in November.

This gives the Angry Farmer a clash with three-time world champion Mark Williams in the opening round, which will be on 10 January at Alexandra Palace.

Gilbert has played in the Masters twice before and reached the semi-finals on both occasions, so despite not being in the best form this season, he will be relishing the chance to return to Alexandra Palace and play on one of the best stages in the sport.

Yan remains one of eight players suspended indefinitely, until the investigation into match-fixing comes to an end.

The week before Yan was suspended, Lu Ning, Li Hang, Zhao Jianbo, Bai Langning and Chang Bingyu were all banned from competing or attending events, with Liang Wenbo hit with a ban in October.

Since then Chen Zifan has become the eighth player to be suspended as the investigation, and scandal, rumbles on.

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Four
Yan Bingtao misses the Masters this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Masters first round schedule

Sunday 08 January
1pm: Neil Robertson vs Shaun Murphy
7pm: Mark Selby vs Zhao Xintong

Monday 09 January
1pm: Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Luca Brecel
7pm: John Higgins vs Jack Lisowski

Tuesday 10 January
1pm: Mark Allen vs Barry Hawkins
7pm: Mark Williams vs Dave Gilbert

Wednesday 11 January
1pm: Judd Trump vs Ryan Day
7pm: Kyren Wilson vs Stuart Bingham

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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