The common perception is that the game of snooker is in accelerated state of decline in both Britain and Ireland. Killed off by the multitude of TV channels and the increased availability of other sports. Only the sight of Ken Doherty playing against the ladies world champion can revive interest in the sport.
But, globally, the sport of snooker has never been in ruder health. China currently boasts, according to certain counts, 60 million amateur snooker players, with one million of those apparently playing as often as once a day.
Ronnie O'Sullivan is adamant that the Chinese will dominate snooker in a decade. Five of top 11 ranking events are now held in China. And appearing on Off The Ball on Tuesday night, Steve Davis tossed out a throwaway line which captures just how big snooker is in that country.
More people will tune into Ding Jinghui's first round game than watched the 1985 final between me and Dennis Taylor.
Given Ding's recent form, the viewing figures could drop off quite quickly. World Number One at the end of last year, he has lost six successive first round matches in 2015.