Sussex star will be first on oche at World Darts Championships

Ritchie Edhouse will kick off the William Hill World Darts Championship next Wednesday night.

Ritchie Edhouse will be first on at Ally Pally / Picture: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe
Ritchie Edhouse will be first on at Ally Pally / Picture: Kais Bodensieck/PDC Europe

Ritchie Edhouse will kick off the William Hill World Darts Championship next Wednesday night.

The Hastings-based world number 80 will face PDC China Champion, Lihao Wen, in the opening match of the sport’s flagship event at Alexandra Palace, London.

If he wins his first-round tie, Edhouse will return to the famous stage in the final game of the same night against world No1 and defending champion Gerwyn Price.

It will be the 38-year-old’s second World Championship appearance. He qualified two years ago and beat Boris Koltsov 3-1 in round one before losing 3-0 to three-time semi-finalist James Wade.

Edhouse will be starting to get used to the glare of the television cameras and roar of the crowd, having played in the European Championship and Players Championship Finals in the past couple of months.

He came up against Price in the former tournament, losing 6-2, and pulled off a fine victory over world 14 Dave Chisnall in the latter.

Fellow local player Rob Cross will have to wait until just before Christmas to begin his quest to repeat his title triumph of four years ago.

The No 11 seed will take on Raymond van Barneveld or Lourence Ilagan in round two during the evening session on Thursday December 23.

Dutch five-time world champion Van Barneveld and Filipino Ilagan will meet in round one on December 20.

Cross goes into the tournament on the back of a decent autumn, the highlight of which was winning the European Championship for the second time in three years.