Cross to face Durrant or King in Ladbrokes Masters

Rob Cross will be involved as the Ladbrokes Masters is expanded to feature 24 players.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 9:00 am
Rob Cross will go for glory in the Ladbrokes Masters at the end of January / Picture: Lawrence Lustig, PDC

This year's tournament will be staged from January 29-31 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Peter Wright will defend his title in this year's Masters, having defeated Michael Smith in the 2020 tournament to end Michael van Gerwen's five-year reign as champion.

Cross will start his bid by facing the winner of the first-round tie between Glen Durrant and Mervyn King.

The tournament has previously featured 16 players since being introduced in 2013, but will see the addition of an extra session this year as eight further players take to the stage, with prize money increasing to £220,000.

Play will commence on Friday January 29, with the players ranked 9-24 following the World Championship playing off in the first round as the extended format begins.

Clashes at that stage will include Joe Cullen's tie against Stephen Bunting, with both having impressed at the World Championship recently - with the winner progressing to play new World Champion Gerwyn Price.

Premier League champion Glen Durrant will play Mervyn King, while 2020 Grand Slam winner Jose de Sousa faces Jonny Clayton, who partnered Price to World Cup glory for Wales.

The world's top eight players will then enter at the second round stage on Saturday January 30, with play to be split across two sessions on the day.

Alongside Price's tie with Cullen or Bunting, Wright will open his title defence against either Krzysztof Ratajski or Simon Whitlock, while five-time Masters champion Van Gerwen plays De Sousa or Clayton.

2014 Masters winner James Wade, the only other former champion in the field this year, will play either World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh or Chris Dobey.

The tournament will then conclude on Sunday January 31 with the quarter-finals in the afternoon session and the semi-finals and final in the evening session.

The 2021 Ladbrokes Masters will be held behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena due to current restrictions.

Worldwide coverage will be led by host broadcaster ITV4 in the UK and Ireland, as well as through RTL7 in the Netherlands and DAZN in various global territories, as well as through the PDC's global broadcasters, for PDCTV Rest of the World Subscribers and through matchroom.live.

The schedule of play for the opening two days will be confirmed in due course.

2021 Ladbrokes Masters

Friday January 29 (1900 GMT)

First Round x8

Best of 11 legs

Saturday January 30

Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)

Second Round x4

Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (1900 GMT)

Second Round x4

Best of 19 legs

Sunday January 31

Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)

Quarter-Finals

Best of 19 legs

Evening Session (1900 GMT)

Semi-Finals & Final

Best of 21 legs

Draw Bracket

(1) Gerwyn Price v (16) Joe Cullen/(17) Stephen Bunting

(8) Gary Anderson v (9) Michael Smith/(24) Adrian Lewis

(4) Rob Cross v (13) Glen Durrant/(20) Mervyn King

(5) Nathan Aspinall v (12) Ian White/(21) Mensur Suljovic

(2) Michael van Gerwen v (15) Jose de Sousa/(18) Jonny Clayton

(7) James Wade v (10) Dimitri Van den Bergh/(23) Chris Dobey

(3) Peter Wright v (14) Krzysztof Ratajski/(19) Simon Whitlock

(6) Dave Chisnall v (11) Daryl Gurney/(22) Jeffrey de Zwaan

First Round Draw

(16) Joe Cullen v (17) Stephen Bunting

(9) Michael Smith v (24) Adrian Lewis

(13) Glen Durrant v (20) Mervyn King

(12) Ian White v (21) Mensur Suljovic

(15) Jose de Sousa v (18) Jonny Clayton

(10) Dimitri Van den Bergh v (23) Chris Dobey

(14) Krzysztof Ratajski v (19) Simon Whitlock

(11) Daryl Gurney v (22) Jeffrey de Zwaan

Prize Fund

Winner - £60,000

Runner-Up - £25,000

Semi-Finalists - £17,500

Quarter-Finalists - £10,000

Second Round Losers - £5,000

First Round Losers - £2,500

Total - £220,000