Rob Cross drawn against debutant in 2019 Betfred World Matchplay

Rob Cross in action against Daryl Gurney during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture by Michael Cooper
Rob Cross in action against Daryl Gurney during the Unibet Premier League Darts at the SSE Arena, Belfast. Picture by Michael Cooper

The schedule of play for the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay has been confirmed with, Rob Cross making his bow on the opening night on Saturday July 20.

The former World Darts Championship winner from St Leonards will take on Chris Dobey, one of seven debutants at this year's tournament.

Blackpool's famous Winter Gardens will host the summer's biggest darts event later this month, with 32 players competing from July 20-28 live on Sky Sports.

The first round is split across the opening three days, including a double session on Sunday July 21.

Reigning champion World Matchplay Gary Anderson champion will begin the defence of his title against Danny Noppert on a mouth-watering opening night.

UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall will play Mervyn King in the opening fixture, while Gerwyn Price will take on Stephen Bunting.

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Sunday's afternoon session will see former quarter-finalists Dave Chisnall, Joe Cullen, Ian White and Darren Webster all in action, before World Championship runner-up Michael Smith meets in-form Jamie Hughes.

In the Sunday evening session Michael van Gerwen will start his quest for a third Blackpool title against Steve Beaton, 2007 champion James Wade will face last year's semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan and former runner-up Adrian Lewis will meet three-time Lakeside champion Glen Durrant.

Former finalist Peter Wright will star in the final night of first round action on Monday, with 2017 semi-finalist Daryl Gurney and two-time semi-finalist Simon Whitlock also in action.

Cross will be looking to better last year's second round exit. 2018's second seed suffered a shock 11-8 defeat to number 14 seed Darren Webster.

Tickets for the 2019 Betfred World Matchplay are still available from the Winter Gardens Box Office & via pdc.tv/tickets.