Ken Doherty has been handed a wildcard to compete on the World Snooker Tour (WST) for the next two seasons.

The decision was announced by WST chairman Steve Dawson during day 11 of the World Championships, with seven-time Crucible winner Stephen Hendry also granted a two-year wildcard.

Doherty, who beat Hendry in the final of the 1997 World Championship, lost 6-4 to Rory McLeod in the second round of qualifying for this year's event, while Hendry did not attempt to qualify.

"They are both great ambassadors for our sport and they have both done a huge amount to grow snooker around the world over many years," Dawson said.

"Both Ken and Stephen continue to generate interest from fans, television and media.

"We wish them all the best for the next two seasons. We will review this invitation at the end of the two-year period."

Currently ranked 78th in the world, the Dubliner has won six ranking tournaments since turning professional in 1990, the last of which coming in the 2006 Malta Cup win over John Higgins.

Hendry won just three times in 11 matches after coming out of retirement in September 2020. His record of 36 ranking titles is second only to Ronnie O'Sullivan (38), and his nine seasons as world number one set a record under the annual ranking system used until 2010.