St Leonards star targets ‘amazing’ Premier League victory

Rob Cross (right) and semi-final opponent James Wade with the Unibet Premier League trophy. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross (right) and semi-final opponent James Wade with the Unibet Premier League trophy. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Darts superstar Rob Cross says it would be ‘amazing’ to win the 2019 Unibet Premier League Play-Offs.

The world number two from St Leonards will be one of four men gunning for glory at The 02 in London tonight (Thursday).

Cross said: “To win the Premier League would be an amazing thing for me. There’s only a very elite group of players to achieved it and I would love to join that list.”

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The former world champion will take on 2009 champion James Wade in the second semi-final, with the winner to play Michael van Gerwen or Daryl Gurney in the final.

Cross will be making his second successive Play-Offs appearance, having suffered a semi-final defeat to Van Gerwen in last year’s event.

The 28-year-old was hampered by a sternum injury in last year’s Play-Offs and Cross is looking forward to enjoying the experience this time around.

“Last year I was really struggling with my injury and I didn’t get to make the most of my chance to play at The O2,” he continued.

“This year I’ve enjoyed playing in the Premier League a lot more and I think that’s been reflected in my improved performances.

“I’ve practised a bit more, put the hard work in and it’s paid dividends for me. I’ve learnt a lot from my experiences of the last couple of years and it’s finally coming to fruition.”

Cross qualified for the Play-Offs after finishing second in the 16-match league phase of the televised roadshow competition, which featured nine of the sport’s top players.

He missed out on being only the third player ever to win the league phase - and the £25,000 bonus that goes with it - and losing 8-6 to Wade in Leeds last week.

Wade will make his first Play-Offs appearance since 2013 and is feeling confident of his chances of doubling his Premier League title tally.

He said: “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the Play-Offs, but I’ve been playing professional darts for so long now that the pressure shouldn’t get to me.

“I expected myself to make the final, but it would be so nice to win it. It’s a prestigious event, against the best players in the world, so I can look forward to the Play-Offs.

“Last week’s game against Rob won’t mean anything - it wasn’t a knockout game and if anything I cost Rob £25,000 so it will give him a bit of fuel! But I’ll be ready for him.

“Michael and me are probably the most experienced players in the Premier League. There are better players than me and far more flamboyant players, but I know what I’m capable of and I’m never someone to be written off.”

The Unibet Premier League Play-Offs will be shown live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC’s broadcast partners, and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World Subscribers.