Cross set for World Championship debut

Rob Cross is into the world's top 20 after an amazing debut season on the Professional Darts Corporation ProTour. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross is into the world's top 20 after an amazing debut season on the Professional Darts Corporation ProTour. Picture courtesy Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Rob Cross is all set to make his debut at the William Hill World Darts Championship.

The St Leonards-based player will face Japan’s Seigo Asada or Australia’s Gordon Mathers in round one of the sport’s blue riband event at London’s Alexandra Palace tonight (Friday).

International qualifiers Asada and Mathers will meet in the preliminary round in the first of the night’s four matches at 7pm for the right to face Cross in the last match later in the evening.

Cross is the 20th seed and 14/1 fifth favourite for the title with the tournament sponsors following a remarkable first year as a professional.

The 27-year-old, nicknamed Voltage, has won four Players Championship titles and reached the quarter-finals or better in his last four televised tournaments, including finishing runner-up in the European Championship.

Many knowledgeable observers expect Cross, who last year was working as an electrician, to make a real impact on the sport’s biggest stage. A victory tonight would set up a second round meeting with 13th seed Michael Smith or Steve Lennon on Saturday December 23.

The World Championship, which is being broadcast live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel, got underway yesterday (Thursday) and will continue until New Year’s Day.