Ronnie O’Sullivan’s capture of the Shanghai Masters title underlined the fact that he can win tournaments when not playing at his best.
It also provided further evidence that China is a snooker powerhouse. Crowds at the Grand Stage were strong and enthusiastic while the tournament attracted as many as 50 journalists a day, providing acres of coverage in the Chinese media.
Liang Wenbo has gone above Ding Junhui in the provisional rankings and the country now has two world class players. There are many more practising several hours a day who could break through in the next few years.
This is a market that has been well exploited so far but can still be used to drive the game forward.
But what is needed are different formats and ideas for events away from the mainstream to generate additional excitement.
Here are two:
Firstly, bring back the World Cup and play it in China. This event was a mainstay of the circuit for several years but was only once staged in a grand scale, in Bangkok in 1996.
Playing for one’s country would give the players a different focus and create extra interest in each of the nations represented.
Second, how about a Ryder Cup style competition pitting Asia versus Europe?
You could play singles and doubles matches and make it a regular annual event, alternating between China and European venues.
The WPBSA has enough on its plate with the world ranking circuit but this is an opportunity for independent promoters to cash in on the Chinese boom, which still needs to be nurtured if it is to last.