It would mean everything – Rob Cross hoping improved form can bring world title

The 33-year-old was crowned world champion in 2018.

Jonathan Veal
Friday 08 December 2023 09:00 GMT
Rob Cross won the World Championship in 2018 (John Walton/PA)
Rob Cross won the World Championship in 2018 (John Walton/PA) (PA Archive)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Rob Cross believes he is playing the best darts since his 2018 title as he targets another World Championship crown.

Cross announced himself in style five years ago as he stunned Phil Taylor in the final to become world champion in his maiden outing at Alexandra Palace.

He has not been able to reach the same heights since, as he suffered a self-diagnosed “low period”, but he is looking back to his best in 2023, getting to two major finals.

Although the silverware has eluded him, he thinks he is in the best shape he has ever been to claim a second title.

“It is the pinnacle of the game, when you win it you realise that,” Cross told the PA news agency.

“For me to win it again, I couldn’t put it into words. It’s that big. After winning it before, to lift it again would just mean everything really. This is the tournament when people look back and say how many World Championships did this guy win. It would mean everything for me.

“I would always like to win more, we are all pretty greedy and want to win. You can’t win them all.

“I’ve probably had a low period for 18 months and two years, so I could have done better there. But the way I have played this year, my performances seem to be getting better and I am in a better place than I was a couple of years ago.

“I am enjoying the game more and looking forward to it. This year for consistency I suppose and what I have achieved, I have played some really good darts.

“Performances are better, I believe I have played the best I have played since winning the worlds, since 2018 this is the most consistent.”

The 33-year-old Englishman would have had a major title to show for his form this year had he not run into an unstoppable Luke Humphries at the Grand Slam of Darts last month.

Humphries, 28, has also won the World Grand Prix and the Players Championship and will head to Alexandra Palace as the favourite.

Cross said: “I think he is favourite overall. Luke is very wise and is definitely up there with the best in the world.

“He will take everything in his stride, he is a great guy. He is calm and collected, I can’t see him going in there and panicking. He is playing too well. Whoever is going to beat him will have to play well.”

 

This year’s tournament will see sponsors Paddy Power donate £1,000 to Prostate Cancer UK every time a 180 is thrown, and with over 900 thrown last year, Cross reckons 1,000 will be reachable.

“For me this campaign is just thrilling for everyone and the support you can give for such a good charity,” he added.

“We will try and hit as many 180s as we can, we always do. It usually goes up every year so it will be exciting if we can get up to 1,000, which would be a £1million.

“In this case I don’t think there is the awareness of it, one in eight men will suffer from prostate cancer. It will be great to get that reach out, it is a great cause.”

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