‘More pairs please’ says Wayne Mardle

Wales became World Cup of Darts champions for the first time ever as Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton brushed aside England’s Michael Smith and Rob Cross in the final in Austria to secure the £70,000 top prize

Last Updated: 11/11/20 12:30pm

Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton life the trophy
Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton life the trophy

Wayne Mardle is keen to see paired darts become more prominent on the back of another highly-entertaining World Cup campaign over the weekend. 

An inspired duo of Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton whitewashed England’s Michael Smith and Rob Cross in the final as Wales became World Cup of Darts champions for the first time in their history.

Mardle believes alterations to the doubles format could add even more drama to a tournament that continues to improve each year.

“I was speaking to [Sky Sports Darts producer] Rory Hopkins about this, he came up with a brilliant format,” said Mardle. “As we know it’s all scheduled towards TV so just pairs, as was highlighted to me, just wouldn’t work.

“The pairs format would have to be too long. This is a good idea from Rory, I’m not taking any credit here whatsoever, I’m just passing it on.

“What he said was that instead of having single, single, pair from the last 16 onwards, you have single, pair, single. Now what that means is that you just do the draw as you would for the singles, but the pairs, because it’s the second game, it’s either to win or to avoid defeat.

“That way it’s the same time format, the format effectively hasn’t changed in terms of the time it would take the game. All we’ve done is move the pairs second from the decider, but it could be a decider in so many ways anyway. I like that. So there would be a pairs match in every single game.”

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Wales beat England 3-0 in the final to win the World Cup for the first time
Wales beat England 3-0 in the final to win the World Cup for the first time

Mardle believes the prospect of rearranging the order of play comes with the potential of adding even more intrigue should contests come down to a decisive singles game.

“Let’s say it’s England v Austria. So (Rob) Cross goes on against Mensur Suljovic and Mensur beats Rob, so they’re 1-0 up. Then you’ve got the pairs game and it will be Rowby-John Rodriguez taking on Michael Smith if it goes to the single.

“You have got Rowby-John Rodriguez and he’s got three darts in hand to put Austria through because Mensur has already done a number on Cross.

“He misses, it goes 1-1 and he’s now got to stay on that stage, pick himself up and play a singles game. The drama of it all. A man would look beaten before he’s beat, he’s still got another game to play.

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Gerywn Price bigged up his partner Jonny Clayton in a great team effort to claim the World Cup for Wales
Gerywn Price bigged up his partner Jonny Clayton in a great team effort to claim the World Cup for Wales

“And the story will be that he kind of picks himself up off the ground after missing three darts to put his country through and still has the strength of mind to beat whoever it may be to go through. It doesn’t muck around with the time constraints of broadcasting and that’s the problem.

“Imagine you’ve just missed darts to put your country through and you’ve got to stay up there. We want pairs and we would get it in every single tie.”

Non-stop darts as truncated season comes to a close

Over the next four weeks, a relentless schedule will close the PDC and finalise the field for this year’s World Championships which remain scheduled for Alexandra Palace in mid-December.

The final five days of Pro Tour action continue on Wednesday with Grand Slam places still up for grabs as well as the last chance for many to secure their Tour card for next season. You can follow the Grand Slam action on Sky Sports with all nine days from Coventry getting underway on Monday, November 16.

PDC Calendar – remaining events

Winter Series November 10-14
Grand Slam of Darts November 16-24
Players Championship Finals November 27-29
World Youth Championship final November 29
PDPA World Championship qualifier November 30
World Darts Championship TBC

Listen to the Darts Show podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox

Following the Grand Slam, the tungsten stays at the Ricoh Arena with three days of Players Championship Finals action and then the final qualifier for the World Championship.

Sky Sports Darts will keep you across all the action as the season reaches its climax. As well as all the action, The Darts Show podcast will catch up with all the players, discuss the talking points and get expert opinion from former world no 1 Colin Lloyd.

Follow the action from the Grand Slam with all nine days covered on Sky Sports Arena – and if you are out and about updates via our live blogs and @SkySportsDarts for regular updates

Source : Sky Sports