Yan Bingtao is amongst a group of promising Asian players who have been tipped to end the British and Irish dominance of snooker over the next few years.
The 20-year-old won his first ranking event in 2019 and four subsequent semi-final appearances have seen him break into the top 16 in the world.
He was narrowly beaten by Judd Trump in the second round of the 2020 World Championship, but the British star believes that Bingtao can lead a surge of Chinese title challengers.
“He (Yan) is very mature for his age and doesn’t go for anything stupid,” said Trump. “He takes his time and he has certainly got a chance of being world champion in the future.
“The future of the game is in really good hands with these Chinese players and, in the future, there will certainly be a more even ratio of players from China and the UK.
“It’s also good to have young players coming through. It keeps you on your toes and it’s nice to have the 40-plus players not winning everything all the time.”
Trump’s views have been supported by recent research conducted by Betway which highlighted the growing presence of Asian players in professional snooker.
Seven of the current top 32 in the rankings were born in Asia, while there are many more who are climbing the ladder after forcing their way onto the tour.
Bingtao is at the forefront of the charge having showcased his talents to perfection by winning the Riga Masters earlier in the season.
He has since finished runner-up to Trump in the 2020 Players Championship and reached the semi-final stage in three other tournaments.
Although Bingtao will take heart from Trump’s assessment of his talent, history shows that he may not find it easy to crack the British and Irish dominance in snooker.
Only three overseas players have ever won the world title – Horace Lindrum (1952), Cliff Thorburn (1980) and Neil Robertson (2010).
However, with many of the sport’s current top players reaching the veteran stage of their respective careers, Asian players may be well placed to take full advantage.
Bingtao was amongst a trio of Asian stars who reached the last eight of the 2019 UK Championship, further highlighting their increasing impact on the sport.
Age is certainly on their side, with just three of the seven Asian-born players currently in the top 32 over the age of 30.
With an increasing number of tournaments scheduled to be staged in Asia and more players joining the tour, it is not unreasonable to think that the balance of power will shift over the coming years.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.