O’Sullivan to play in 2013 World Championships.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is set to end his snooker exile and defend his world title in April this year, the English cuemaster announced at a news conference in London on Tuesday.
Four-time world champion O’Sullivan, 37, has played only one competitive match this season after growing disenchanted with snooker and had until the end of February to decide whether to defend his title before the entry list closed.
As reigning champion, O’Sullivan will be the top seed at the World Championship, which starts at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, northern England, on April 20.
And he insisted a lack of match practice was no reason to disregard his title chances, saying: “I just thought it was time to come back. I have a different perspective now.”
He added: “I am used to being written off. I know how good I am and that I can do this.”
O’Sullivan has played just once since winning his fourth world title in May — an uninspiring loss to the previously little-known Simon Bedford at a minor tournament in Gloucester, southwest England.
There had been speculation that fans’ favourite O’Sullivan, from Chigwell, east of London, might retire completely but, for all his time away from the table, he will now be one of the leading contenders at the Crucible.