So the World Cup is underway in Bangkok and need not apologise if not all of yesterday’s snooker was of the standard we are used to seeing on our television screens.
This happens in World Cups in every sport. You get top teams but also minnows and that is part of the fascination. I’d rather it this way than the cosy closed shop of the World Team Cup of the 1980s.
The five frame format is about right for the group phase but day one didn’t convince me that the alternate shot doubles is a good idea.
It’s very stop-start. Snooker players depend on getting into a rhythm and keeping it to play well, but this is impossible under the doubles format.
It will be interesting to see how the big hitters – England, Scotland and Wales – fare with it today.
The other thing I find odd is the fact that teams don’t receive any points for actually winning a match.
All they get is a point for each frame won, which is a little like basing the football World Cup purely on goals scored.
But whatever the format of any event you will never get everyone to agree it’s the right one.
The main thing is that the World Cup has returned with players for once representing not themselves but their countries.
There was a good win yesterday for Australia over the Thailand A side and surprise victories for Brazil over Belgium, Pakistan over Ireland and Poland over Hong Kong.
Northern Ireland could go a long way too, with Mark Allen and Gerard Greene comfortably beating India.
Today’s matches include England v Brazil in a World Cup match that, for once, England are hot favourites.