Scotland are set to have a completely new pairing at next month’s World Cup of Darts in Austria, with Peter Wright and Gary Anderson both making themselves unavailable for selection.
Reigning PDC world champion Wright and two-time world champion Anderson claimed Scotland’s maiden World Cup crown in Germany last year, although the duo have claimed they will not defend their title due to the continued uncertainty regarding Covid-19.
Anderson has been vocal about his concerns with regards to travelling abroad, having opted not to compete in last month’s Autumn Series and World Series Finals, and ‘The Flying Scotsman’ insists he will not feature in this year’s PDC World Championship if it is held outside the UK.
However, Wright has now joined his compatriot in ruling himself out, confirming that he will not compete at the World Cup – which is being held from November 6-8 in Graz – or upcoming European Tour events in Germany.
“Unfortunately, I’m not playing [in the World Cup] either,” Wright told the Weekly Dartscast. “I can understand Gary when he says why he doesn’t travel, getting on a plane, and stuff like that.
“I thought about it a long time, and it’s another reason why I’ve pulled out of the two Europeans [Sindelfingen – October 16-18 and Riesa October 23-25] coming up. It’s not because of people not doing their jobs properly, but there’s a few idiots breaking the rules and you could pick it [the virus] up.
“Poor Adrian Lewis and Stephen Bunting missing out [on the World Grand Prix after returning positive Covid-19 tests]. I think they probably caught that when we were in Germany. You’ve got to think of your health and safety, and family.
“It’s unfortunate, but I’ve won the World Cup with Gary. I’ve achieved my dream of winning it for Scotland, but I won’t be playing in another World Cup,” added the world No 3.
This presents the very realistic possibility of John Henderson and Robert Thornton representing Scotland at this year’s World Cup, with ‘The Highlander’ poised to make his debut in the 32-team event.
Henderson is ranked just outside the world’s top 32, whilst two-time major winner Thornton is next in line to deputise, despite slipping outside the world’s top 64. ‘The Thorn’ has made four previous World Cup appearances, reaching the quarter-finals in 2014 and 2016.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC