World Darts Championship: Cross will face van Duijvenbode or Brooks

Rob Cross was handed a tough assignment in the draw for the 2020/21 William Hill World Darts Championship.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 6:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:00 pm
Rob Cross in recent Players' Championship action / Picture: Lawrence Lustig - PDC

The world number five from St Leonards will face Dirk van Duijvenbode or Bradley Brooks in the second round at Alexandra Palace, London, later this month.

The sport's flagship event will run from Tuesday December 15 until Sunday January 3 - and up to 1,000 fans will be present for each session of play.

Cross wrote on Twitter: "Great news to have fans back for the Ally Pally. Amazing hard work from all at @OfficialPDC. I play either Dirk van Duijvenbode or Bradley Brooks in my opening second round match. Can't wait."

The 30-year-old will return to the scene of his fairytale World Championship triumph three years ago, when he beat world number one Michael van Gerwen in an extraordinary semi-final before producing a masterful display to thrash the great Phil Taylor in the final.

Cross, nicknamed Voltage, reached the last 16 the following year before falling at the first hurdle against Kim Huybrechts 12 months ago. And he will need to be on his game to avoid a repeat of last year's early exit because his second-round clash will be a difficult one.

Brooks, a 20-year-old from Blackburn, will be on a high having won the PDC World Youth Championship last Sunday night. And Dutch thrower Van Duijvenbode has enjoyed an excellent year on the circuit, rising to 43rd on the PDC order of merit.

The 28-year-old reached the World Grand Prix final, and was a quarter-finalist in the European Championship and last weekend's Players Championship Finals.

The draw for the World Championship, which was conducted by Wayne Mardle live on Sky Sports News, sees the top 32 players from the PDC order of merit seeded through to round two, with the first round featuring the ProTour order of merit qualifiers up against the qualifiers and international representatives.

The action will be televised live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel and tickets to be there in person are now on sale. Fans from areas in tiers one and two can book a table of four for one household or support bubble, but people from tier three areas cannot attend.

Spectators will not be permitted to wear fancy dress and will also be banned from singing or chanting.