No way back for Tay­lor as Hearn closes door on for­mer champ

Leek Post & Times - - SPORT -

DARTS chief Barry Hearn has slammed the door shut on Phil ‘The Power’ Tay­lor’s hopes of a last shot at the PDC World Cham­pi­onship. Tay­lor, pic­tured, hinted ear­lier this year he could come out of re­tire­ment for an­other crack at the tro­phy he lifted 16 times in his record-break­ing ca­reer.

‘The Power’ quit the PDC cir­cuit after los­ing in last year’s world fi­nal to Rob Cross and Hearn has ruled out hand­ing him a wild­card to the sport’s blue riband event in the fu­ture.

Hearn said: “No­body gets any favours. This is a tough, com­pet­i­tive sport and not one per­son will be al­lowed to play on the ba­sis of their rep­u­ta­tion.

“You have to earn the right to play in the big tour­na­ments.”

The World Cham­pi­onship this year ex­panded to 96 play­ers for the first time and Hearn be­lieves darts will con­tinue to grow.

“I don’t think we have even started yet,” he said. “Even in coun­tries where they don’t play darts the sport is big busi­ness.

“I think we will see the day when the world cham­pion gets £ 1m.

“I don’t know when it will hap­pen, but that’s the tar­get and it will take the game to the next level.

“My dream is that a Chi­nese player will come along and throw a nine darter in ev­ery leg.”

Hearn paid tribute to

Tay­lor’s role in darts’ growth dur­ing the 25th PDC World Cham­pi­onship at Alexan­dra Palace, where Adrian Lewis and Ian White are car­ry­ing the Pot­ter­ies’ hopes.

Hearn said: “Phil has been mas­sive for us.

“I thought he went (re­tired) a year too early, but maybe he got it right.

“The stan­dard is amaz­ing now. The play­ers see life-chang­ing money and ded­i­cate them­selves.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.