Anderson: ‘They’re not dart players, they’re just cowards’

Gary Anderson launched another impassioned attack on gamesmanship within darts after booking his place in the knockout stages of the Grand Slam of Darts with a 5-3 victory over Ryan Searle on Wednesday afternoon.

The two-time world champion defied a 102.60 average from ‘Heavy Metal’ to confirm his progression through the group stages for the 14th year in succession, setting up a fascinating showdown against world No 1 Michael van Gerwen for a place in the quarter-finals.

‘The Flying Scotsman’ caused controversy following his opening day win over talented Czech teenager Adam Gawlas, launching a bizarre tirade surrounding goings-on behind the scenes.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Michael Bridge on Monday, Anderson claimed: “It’s nice to play darts, you get players snarking in your ear, every time you throw and it always seems to come from the same team, then it gets on your nerves a bit.

“Would I pull out? Yeah, because darts isn’t darts anymore. You need to have a word with everyone that watches darts. They call it gamesmanship, I call it cheating.

“Ask a lot of players and they don’t say anything. I’ll say something. If they are all sniffing, they better get their test again – that’s the way I look at it.

The 2018 Grand Slam finalist – who continues to play through the pain barrier with a knee injury – was thrashed by Simon Whitlock on Tuesday, yet he maintained his flawless record of advancing to the knockout stages since the event’s inception with a clinical display against Searle.

The 49-year-old averaged 99.85, squandered the solitary dart at double and converted finishes of 111 and 119 – the latter culminating on the bull to seal his progression. However, speaking to the media post match, Anderson expanded on his previous comments with another unmissable interview.

“At the end of the day it’s [‘cheating’ comments] probably aimed at a hell of a lot of players to be honest,” Anderson told Online Darts. “But like they say: ‘It doesn’t happen’. That’s what gets on my goat.

“If you’re going to do something, just say: ‘Look I did. It worked’. Fair do’s. End of argument – well done, thank you for admitting, I’ll know the next time what to expect. ‘I never done it’.

“They’re grown men. It is pathetic. I wish I could do it. Even Tommy [Gilmour] will tell you. He says ‘do it back’. I can’t. I cannot do it back because it’s not the game.

“It’s funny because there’s certain things they do which I’m not going to get into, but it seems to be the same thing at the same time, so it’s obviously going about isn’t it?

“It makes me weak, it just makes me weak in the head because I’m actually listening to them. It’s one of these things. I don’t do it to people, I don’t expect it to get done to me. If they do it, they’re not dart players, they’re just cowards and that’s a simple fact, you can quote me on that.”

“I’ve hardly been at the darts this year and you’ve heard all the goings-on and arguments. Obviously it’s not me saying it because I’m not there, so obviously it’s happening,” he told Darts World’s Phil Lanning.

“I’m the one that says it and I’m the one that gets my backside chewed for it, because the rest cannot speak up for themselves. If you’re doing something wrong, face up to it and admit it. Have a pair of jewels.

“I used to play darts – you’d be up on the stage playing a boy, a boy would hit a 180 and you’d say great darts. You’d actually say to him: ‘Good darts buddy, great darts’. That’s well gone,” added the Scot.

Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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