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Listen to Bingham's interview ahead of the 2017 World Championship by clicking here.

STUART BINGHAM admits he still gets "butterflies" every time he walks out at the Crucible to stake his claim to be a sporting world champion.

Ballrun, 40, was 23 years-old and world ranked 92 when he made his debut at the home of snooker in the year 2000.

Since then has qualified to break off at the famous venue nine times - memorably winning the title in 2015 with victory over Shaun Murphy in the final - and is now world No 3 and a married father-of-three.

But ahead of the start of his latest tilt at the crown this Sunday, he says the thrill of stepping out in Sheffield is as great as ever.

Bingham said: "When I think about the walk-out it gives you butterflies.

"Above my table at home I have a nice mural of me there in the semi-finals and it gives me butterflies thinking I am going to play there in a couple of days' time. It's brilliant and I can't wait."

Read more: Bingham: Crucible buzz always gives me 'butterflies'

STUART BINGHAM says it was a typically enjoyable trip to China even though he never really felt his game clicked before a last 16 defeat to Kyren Wilson.

The world No 3 is a firm fans' favourite in East Asia and was happy to again sample the culture as he took part in this year's China Open.

Ballrun, who beat Scotland's Scott Donaldson (5-3) and Thailand's Noppon Saengkham (5-2) before a 5-2 defeat to fellow Englishman Wilson in Beijing, admitted: "To be honest I did not feel I played that well in the first two matches even though I had little spurts of form in frames here and there.

"And I got found out really against Kyren. From 2-2 to 4-2 down I missed one chance where I was in the balls and should not have missed. And he punished me fully for it."

Read more: Bingham: China was a fun trip but I did not click against Wilson

STUART BINGHAM has admitted to breaking World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) rules on betting on matches involving other players.

The world No 3 found out in December that allegations were being investigated by Nigel Mawer, the chairman of the WPBSA's disciplinary committee.

And in a follow up meeting with Mawer in January, Bingham confirmed he had placed accumulator bets on the outcome of other matches because he did not know it was against the governing body's rules to do so.

Bingham is now awaiting the conclusion of the investigation before he discovers the penalty.

Read more: Stuart Bingham comment on betting investigation

STUART BINGHAM says he has been impressed with Scott Donaldson's progress this season and is braced for a tough test against the young Scot at the China Open.

Donaldson, who has just turned 23, enjoyed the best result of his career last month when he beat China’s Zhou Yuelong 5-0 to reach the semi-finals of the Welsh Open.

And although he lost to Judd Trump, who in turn lost to Bingham in the final, Donaldson collected £20,000 in prize money which saw him move up from 77 to 67 in the world rankings.

Donaldson also beat Bingham 4-3 in a European Masters qualifier in September and Ballrun is preparing for another battle when they square off in Beijing on Monday, March 27.

Bingham said: "Him getting to the last four of the Welsh Open shows he is starting to find his feet on Tour.

Read more: Bingham: Donaldson has found his feet on Tour so will be a tough test in China

STUART BINGHAM says his solid showing in the Championship League over the past week was the ideal preparation heading into this month's Players Championship in Llandudno (March 6-12).

Ballrun progressed from Group 6 with three wins from six in Coventry and then won six out of six in Group 7 to move into a semi-final with Mark Selby.

And although he missed out on a final with John Higgins and the chance to secure a place in the Winners' Group after a 3-2 defeat to the world No 1, Bingham was happy to get some solid match practice.

He said: "I've gone through the group stage yesterday with six out of six and played some good stuff and against Selby it just came down to one error in the decider and he cleared up.

Read more: Coventry clashes were good preparation for Llandudno

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