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