THE York Barbican-held Cazoo UK Snooker Championship will have a new format for its 2022 edition.

The world's top 16 players will be seeded into the last 32 of the UK Championship, having previously begun in the first round stage in 128-player field.

Mirroring the structure of the Betfred World Championship, the top 16 will be joined another 16 players in the televised stage, the latter of whom will progress through from the qualifying rounds.

The Triple Crown event's final stage will run from November 12 to 20 at the York Barbican, the tournament's home since 2011, with qualifying featuring 128 players, including 112 professionals and 16 invited amateurs.

The decision comes amid some fierce criticism from former world champion Shaun Murphy over the inclusion of amateur players at last year's UK Championship.

Following Murphy's 6-5 defeat to amateur Si Jiahui in the first round, he said that his Chinese opponent "should not be in the tournament" as he is "not playing with the same pressures and concerns I am."

Speaking about the decision, World Snooker Tour chairman Steve Dawson said: “This format works perfectly for the World Championship so it is also ideal for our second biggest ranking event, the UK Championship.

“This guarantees a star-studded line-up for the final stages, while the qualifying event itself also creates drama and great storylines as 128 players battle for 16 coveted spots at the fabulous York Barbican venue.

“These changes will enhance the status of the Cazoo UK Championship as one of the outstanding events on our calendar.”

Meanwhile, prize money for this year's UK Championship has been increased from £1,009,000 to £1,205,0000, with the first prize up from £200,000 to £250,000.

Matches will remain best of 11 frames up until the best of 19 final.