VOLTAGE: I’M BUZZING & READY FOR MIND GAMES
show off to the crowd a little bit longer, I’ll just stay at the drinks table a bit longer so they aren’t doing it in my face.
“That way I’m not getting involved in all the mind games, but I’m still doing things at my pace.
“There is too much money involved in darts nowadays to let people put you off.
“If people want a bit of eye contact or a bit extra, you have got to change your plan.
“You can’t get yourself embroiled in it or you will lose the game.”
Now he is a world champion, with the proverbial target on his back, Cross expects opponents to try more gamesmanship – but he will be ready for it.
He added: “I am so set in my ways that, if I had any of that, I would still use the same patterns – go back to the drinks table, have another sip of water, take my time, let them get out of the way.
“If they want to do anything on camera – which most people don’t – let them get on with it.
“But it won’t affect the way I play.”
William Hill PDC Darts World Championship, live on Sky Sports Darts from Thursday December 13 (7pm)
ROB CROSS knows more about slings and arrows than any Hastings warrior since William the Conqueror.And when Cross begins his defence of the William Hill darts world championship at Alexandra Palace on Thursday night, he won’t just be ready for all the gamesmanship and aggression rivals can throw at him – he’ll love it.The former electrician, nicknamed “Voltage”, effectively rewired the whole Professional Darts Corporation system when he sent 16-times champion Phil Taylor into retirement with a 7-2 thrashing in the final 12 months ago.Cross had earlier pipped hot favourite Michael van Gerwen in a sensational semi-final that finished past midnight, matching MVG’s trademark chest-beating with bullish body language of his own.Standards of behaviour on the oche have been in the spotlight lately.A row between Gary Anderson and Wesley Harms over breaking wind turned one of the sport’s showpiece majors into the Grand Slam of Farts. And Anderson alsoTROPHY HOLDERS PDC men’s champ Cross and women’s holder Anastasia Dobromyslova took exception to Gerywn Price’s antics last month.But Cross enjoys the needle of big matches and says darts needs rivalries to thrive.He said: “In the heat of the moment, we all have the adrenaline pumping.“I remember how it was in my semi-final against Michael last year – people may say I over-celebrated and did this or did that.“But you need a release valve when that adrenaline is really flowing and I don’t have a problem with it.“Michael is world No.1 and he’s a prime example – he celebrates, but he gets on with it.“This is supposed to be entertainment.“Punters don’t want to see zombies or robots up there on stage, not giving anything.“Sometimes a bit of nitty-gritty is good for the game.“It gets the crowd going if it’s little bit feisty, and I can’t see anything wrong with it.“You need rivalry, you need a bit of spice, like Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson had between them back in the day.“If you don’t like what someone is doing in front of you, then change your tactics. If your opponent wants to celebrate, or
GIANT KILLER Rob Cross in last year’s final againstPhil Taylor