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Liang Wenbo at the centre of controversy on playing return at the British Open Qualifiers

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Liang looks on (Credit: Taka G Wu/Alamy Live News)

Liang Wenbo was at the centre of controversy on his return to competitive snooker at the British Open Qualifiers in Wigan on Thursday.

The 35-year-old had been suspended since April, when he was given a 12-month community order at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court for a domestic-related assault.

Liang, who had consequently missed the World Championship and Championship League, suffered a 4-2 defeat to Scotland’s Dean Young in the qualifying round of the British Open.

Young had opened up a 2-0 lead before Liang got off the mark with a 65 break, but only for the 20-year-old to reply with a break of 79.

Liang equalled that contribution in frame five to reduce the deficit, but the major talking point came in frame six when the Chinese cueist challenged referee Colin Humphries on the spotting of a colour whilst Young was down on a shot.

With the black placed on the blue spot, the referee paused play to bring out a ball marker before confirming the black did not re-spot in its usual position.

Young went on to take the frame and match to seal his place in the main event, which takes place in Milton Keynes from September 26 to October 2.

Liang has been blasted “shocking” and “disgusting” on social media by fellow professionals for his conduct during the final frame.

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