A CORNER of Oxfordshire will be cheering on China’s Liang Wenbo when he plays the next round of Championship League matches today.

The world No 34 is from Zhaodong, but has lived in England for several years and moved to Boars Hill a few months ago.

It led to him approaching Oracle Pool & Snooker Club, asking to install his table so he could practise.

John Donkin, manager and director of the club in Abingdon, said: “We were fortunate he was moving to the area.

“For any club to have a pro player on board is fantastic.

“Some days he can spend 12 hours here. He just gets into the zone.

“But he’s very good with people and as long as they wait until the end of the frame he’s happy to have selfies with them.

“It’s a good relationship.

“We have a laugh with him if he’s done well, or if he’s missed a shot in a tournament we’ll set the balls up in the same way when he comes back in so he can practise.”

Up until lockdown Liang was able to come and go as he pleased with his own set of keys to the club.

As well as taking on some of Oracle’s best players, it has also seen him host several other professionals, including Xiao Guodong, Billy Castle and Connor Benzey.

Despite lockdown interfering with the routine, Liang got away to a superb start in Milton Keynes.

The Championship League is one of the first sporting events to be held in the UK since March.

And Oxfordshire’s adopted star won his first round group, beating Mark Selby, Joe O’Connor and Lee Walker.

It sent him into the last-16 and another round robin competition.

Liang will face three fellow group winners, including Tom Ford and Ben Wollaston, aiming to finish top and head into the final four-player shoot-out on Thursday.

While the tournament has gone to great lengths to make sure it is safe for players, Oracle, like all snooker clubs, has to remain closed until the government changes the guidelines before it can reopen.

Donkin said: “All we can do is plan to make sure we’re ready when the advice changes. We’re hoping it will be next month.”