In 2005, the World Snooker rankings looked very different to now.

Naturally, the new money list a couple of years ago has had an affect on that, but so too has the growth in Chinese Snooker.

That was the year of the Shaun Murphy World Championship, where the man from ...was a 150 - 1 shot to win the World Championship becoming the second youngest winner at 22 to win the World Crown. However it was also the year/season where Ding Junhui was, looking at the World rankings from 2005/6, the only Chinese player in the top 64.

Now, 12 years on, and the World rankings show there is at least 8 Chinese players inside the top 64, and two of them are inside the top 16.

They are both Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo.

Last season was, of course, a great one for two young up and coming Chinese contingents, the incredible tactical prowess of Yan Bingtao (not to mention the boy can pot) and Zhou Yuelong, (another incredible potter) as they managed to debut at the Crucible, and make a great impact on their first seasons.

Watch this interview with Ding, below...

In the 2005/6 seasons, new Chinese professionals were at a minimum. There was Wenbo, who turned pro the same year that Ding won his first world ranking title.

It's taken Wenbo, at least 12 years to win his first World ranking event after his great win in Manchester at the English Open to collect the Steve Davis Trophy last season.

There was also a player called Jin Long,nicknamed the Golden Dragon, and his highest ranking was 60 in 2009. His best finish was actually only five years ago in 2012, when he finished in the last 16 of the World Open. In 2005, he came through the ACBS Asian U-21 Snooker Championship to become a professional.

So twelve years on, and the story has changed.

Although there are still a couple of days left of QSchool, with Event One seeing no Chinese players come through, there's still potentially time for players from Asia to qualify through what is an extremely tough round of six best of seven matches.


The number of Chinese players who have turned pro for the new season is so far...five...

They are:

1) The IBSF World U-21 Champion Xu Si...

2) ACBS Asian Champion - Lyu Haotian

3) ACBS Asian U-21 Champion - Yuan Sijun

4) Chinese nomination 1 - Li Yuan

5) Chinese nomination 2 - Niu Zhuang

Incidentally, in Qschool, there's only been two years where no Chinese players have graduated from the school of potters - 2013 and 15.

In its short history of Qschool snooker , there's been 9 Chinese players who have made it through since 2011.

Last season's total tally of official Chinese pros was at least 16. It looks very much like this season there will be at least 19 players from China on the tour, an increase of three from last season so far.

Consider this though. Ding's first World ranking title in 2005, to the World Championship final in 2016, took him 11 years to get to.

Although the growth of Chinese snooker has "exploded" from just Ding being the only player in 2005 to be inside the top 64 at number 62, there still hasn't been a winner of the World Championship from China or indeed the Asias.

My sense is, that that stat is getting closer, by the year.

No doubt, Ding's World ranking wins in the early years would have shot him up the rankings had there been the money list there is now.