Cross to face former world champion Anderson in PDC showdown

Rob Cross has been handed a mouth-watering first-round tie in the next Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) televised tournament.

Rob Cross / Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Rob Cross / Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

The 2018 world champion from St Leonards will face Gary Anderson - the 2015 and 2016 world champion - in the BoyleSports World Grand Prix next week.

The 32-player event, to be broadcast live on Sky Sports, will take place behind closed doors at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry from October 6-12.

World number five and fifth seed Cross has the toughest possible draw rankings-wise, as world number nine Anderson is the highest ranked unseeded player in the field.

Gary Anderson / Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

In fact, Anderson was the 8/1 fourth-favourite for the title with the tournament sponsors at the time of writing. Cross, incidentally, was eighth on the list at 20/1.

Cross, however, goes into the World Grand Prix - which has been moved from its traditional home of Dublin due to the coronavirus pandemic - in improved form.

He followed up his fine runner-up finish in the bwin World Series of Darts Finals by reaching the last 16 of the German Darts Championship last weekend.

Cross saw off Irish thrower William O'Connor 6-3 in round two on Saturday afternoon, averaging 96.5 and hitting 50 percent of his attempts at a double.

The 30-year-old was then edged out 6-5 by eventual champion Devon Petersen, from South Africa, in round three on Sunday afternoon.

Cross, who averaged 96.45, led 5-4 only for Petersen to break his throw with a 12-darter and then clinch the decider in 14 darts.

The popular Petersen - conqueror of World Series of Darts Finals winner Gerwyn Price in round two - went on to become the first African winner of a PDC ranking event.

Like the World Series of Darts Finals, the German Darts Championship was played with a crowd present in Hildesheim.

Cross, nicknamed Voltage, wrote on Twitter: "Well that's some draw! I've got Gary Anderson in my opening World Grand Prix match. Should be a cracker.

"Wasn't to be in Germany but well played to @devon_petersen ...I lost to a man on fire."