ENGLAND’s bid to win the Snooker World Cup was dealt a massive blow when they suffered a surprise 4-1 defeat to Thailand on the tournament’s opening day.
Despite being the world’s top two ranked players in Mark Selby and newly crowned world champion Stuart Bingham, the pair could not stop Dechawat Poomjaeng and his playing partner Thepchaiya Un-Nooh as they marched to an impressive 4-1 win in the Group C clash.
It means Selby and Bingham cannot afford many more slip ups in the group phase of the competition in their bid to reach the knockout stages of what is the first Snooker World Cup since 2011.
Reigning champions China had an enjoyable opening day as Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong beat India 3-2. As host nation China can boast a B team, who also got off to a flying start after beating Republic of Ireland 4-1.
Scotland’s John Higgins and Stephen Maguire beat Iran 4-1 in their Group B clash and Wales duo Mark Williams and Michael White thrashed Pakistan 5-0.
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson and Vinnie Calabrese of Australia were made to work hard in a 3-2 win over Qatar.