Jimmy White and Ken Doherty given tour cards by World Snooker

Jimmy White
White has won 10 ranking titles, the last of them in 2004

Jimmy White and Ken Doherty will receive invitational tour cards for the next two years, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has revealed.

White, beaten six times in the world final, lost in this year's World Championship qualifying event to relinquish his card after 37 years.

But Hearn said the popular left-hander and Doherty would be "welcomed back for the next two years as a minimum".

Irishman Doherty, 47, won the World Championship in 1997.

Hearn was speaking as part of the BBC's 40 Years of the Crucible programme and said: "I couldn't think of a stage that was more appropriate to announce the decision.

"They are multiple ranking winners in their own right but great ambassadors for the sport of snooker."

White, a Masters and UK Championship winner, dropped out of the top 64 after his 10-7 defeat by fellow Englishman Jack Lisowski in the first round of qualifying at Ponds Forge in Sheffield last week.

But World Snooker's decision means he will not have to attempt to regain a full tour card at May's Q School.

"Occasionally I still get it together and I can beat anybody, so while I've still got that game I keep trying," the 54-year-old said.

"I love practising and playing exhibitions and the game still excites me."

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