One of the first things any of the snooker crowd learn on a visit to one of the major Chinese cities is that whenever you get a taxi – quite often, given the low cost and big distances involved – it is best to have got your destination and hotel name written down in Chinese characters beforehand.

Failure to do this can and does result in near-farcical disaster, which fast becomes less amusing when you can’t find a cab to take you back to base in the small hours because the driver can’t understand a word you say, and your Mandarin or Cantonese isn’t up to scratch.

Matters were exacerbated in Beijing because the cards supposedly fulfilling such a purpose handed out by the Sheraton had such small lettering that most cab drivers couldn’t read them, and spent ages squinting at it before shrugging their shoulders and making it clear they were none the wiser.

For anyone that has seen Beijing traffic, a proliferation of short-sighted cabbies is a worry too far and enough to drive anyone on to public transport.