In an exclusive interview with Legal SportsBooks, Rob Cross speaks about his ambition to get back into the Darts Premier League.
Cross also reveals the best venue he’s ever played in and names 16 year old darts player Luke Littler as one to watch for the future.
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- I’d love to be back in the Prem next year
- There’s not another player out there that can score like Josh Rock
- Civic Hall Wolverhampton is the best venue I’ve ever played in
- Darts is the greatest game in the world
- 16 year old Luke Littler is exceptional
(Question): Looking forward to next year, I’d love to see you back in the Premier League. If the invitation comes next year, would you be tempted to take it?
(Rob Cross): “I have to admit, I’ve always said I wanted this year to sort myself out. I felt I was playing well at the back end of last year. I wasn’t too sure if the Premier League was going to suit me with all the travelling and the other stuff. Then the extra pressure also to perform every week. For me, I sort of looked at it and thought this year’s just not my year. But next year, now with the way I’m playing, I’d love to go back in it and have a go.”
“I’m fully fixed now. I feel like I’m getting better. My concentration is better. My game is better. I’ve got a lovely routine at the minute. Anything that is thrown at me at the minute, I’m handling it very well. Next year I hope I can get in there and do some damage. If I could lift that [Premier League title], that would be amazing.”
(Q): You mentioned Josh Rock earlier, how big of a future do you see for him in the game?
(RC): “Don’t get me wrong, he’s still doing this thing that I used to call ‘box ticking exercises’ really. You’re always asking yourself questions on how do I deal with that, how do I deal with that, how do I get better at that. He’s learning, he’s only 22. He’s got a very bright future. Probably a fair assessment but sometimes he misses a few doubles, but that’s just his youth and inexperience. He puts a lot of pressure on himself but look, when he’s in full flow, there’s not really another player out there that can score like the boy. He’s got a very bright future.”
(Q): What’s the best crowd you’ve played in front of?
(RC): “I have to admit, I love the Matchplay crowd. The Matchplay in Blackpool. The Winter Gardens is absolutely amazing. I can remember the atmosphere just bounces off. Maybe the best venue, and I only ever played there once, was the Grand Slam of Darts. Do you remember when it was at the Civic? Civic Hall in Wolverhampton. That was when Taylor was playing back in 2017. I qualified for the Grand Slam of Darts and it was at the Civic Hall. It’s been closed since, but when I played there it was incredible.”
“It was the smallest venue I’ve ever played in. It didn’t hold a lot of people but I remember standing on the stage and it felt like someone could grab you! It was so compact and you had the balcony go up just around you and it was the best venue I’ve ever played in. It was totally different.”
(Q): That’s what we love. The jeopardy as fans, we want to see that!
(RC): “I think it’s one of the best games in the world. Alright, it’s not physical, but if you look at the scores when they’re coming back at each other, you’ve got three seconds to react. You’re either in or you’re out. Your bottle will go, or you’re in! It’s the greatest game in the world that way!”
(Q): Any other young, up and coming players you’d tell people to look out for?
(RC): “I think we already know. The youngster, Nathan Aspinall’s manager has got him, Luke Littler. 16-years-old and I have to admit, he’s your next one that’s going to come through. He missed out on Q school this year, but he’ll go next year. I fancy him getting his Tour card. He’s another one who will keep on learning and so on, but he’s exceptional.”