Darts Expert & Columnist
Colin Lloyd discusses the sport's return on the Darts Show podcast
PDC darts will return with the 'Summer Series' from July 8-12, which includes five Players Championship events in Milton Keynes.
Last Updated: 16/06/20 4:33pm
Following confirmation that competitive darts will return next month, former world No 1 Colin Lloyd discussed the sport's return, the success of the Home Tour and the impending World Matchplay on the Darts Show podcast.
Although there has been no ranking events since mid-March, darts has continued to flourish in lockdown courtesy of the thriving online darts concept.
The PDC Home Tour saw over 100 Tour Card holders competing from around the globe in their respective homes and Lloyd reflects on the success of the revolutionary tournament, and the excitement surrounding the sport's competitive return.
The two-time major winner also looks ahead to next month's World Matchplay and the possibility of the event being staged behind closed doors, before giving his thoughts on Michael van Gerwen's bullish admission that he wants to dominate the sport for the next decade.
The success of the Home Tour
I think the PDC deserve a massive pat on the back. I think it is a tournament where players can find out where their game is actually at. They can assess their games and see what they are going to be like when they come back and play.
I think come Finals Night, those guys put in a massive performance. It was just as good as it would be if it was being played on the television, so a big round of applause to the PDC and we also know that if god forbid anything like this happens again, there can be some darts for people to watch.
Personally I would have been going up there thinking I want to see how far I can go against players that I'll be playing at weekends anyway. It will give you a lift.
Yes it's online but if you get a result over that player, when you come to play that live game again, you can think to yourself, 'I beat you the other week'. You can nudge that into your opponent.
I think it has been great. I think a lot of the players will take a lot of positives away from it. I don't think there's any negativity to take away from it for the players, because they might shrug their shoulders and say I had a go, I'll make sure I'm ready for when the live darts comes back.
The Matchplay will provide great entertainment
You are going to get the same value of entertainment as you would sitting in the venue, as you would sitting in your armchair at home.
It is the second biggest ranked tournament on the circuit behind the World Championship. If one player turned around and said they didn't want to win the World Matchplay, they'd be telling you very big fibs.
It's a massive event, it's a great title to win and let's hope it can be in Blackpool, but if it's played behind closed doors, you're still going to get great entertainment by 32 of the best players in the world.
They are professional sportsman so they have got to go up and do a professional job in whatever circumstances they may be.
Crowd or no crowd?
When you come to a major, having the crowd there is absolutely fantastic. As a player you can sometimes feed off that buzz that you hear behind you. We've just got to do what the government says. If they say there is no crowd, then there is no crowd.
Fair play to the PDC. They are going down every avenue of trying to get the event to go ahead, just so there is some darts for everybody to watch. Hopefully it could be with a crowd but if it's not, we'll still have darts on the TV.
It won't affect the players because on the Pro Tour events they play in Wigan and Barnsley, there isn't a crowd there anyway, and you still get some massive averages and fantastic games without a crowd.
It will be sad if it doesn't go ahead in Blackpool, but we've got to keep the players, the PDC guys and the Sky crew safe first and foremost.
There's not going to be a massive cheer for a 170 checkout or a 180 being hit, but I think we saw by the Home Tour, there are players in some seriously good form.
Van Gerwen means business
I don't mean this detrimentally - he is a very selfish, focused individual when it comes to Michael van Gerwen the dart player.
He is a great family man but he also puts that time aside to focus on his business and that is why he is the world number one and one of the greatest players in the world, because he runs it as a business.
His business is darts. As soon as Michael finds out the Pro Tours are up and running - he's already said that he will be ready and is going to come back with a bang and I think that speaks volumes.
He openly admitted that he hasn't had a very good past couple of years at the Matchplay. It's not that he doesn't know how to win the Matchplay because he's done it before, but there are other players out there that want the Matchplay title and Michael knows this.
It's a big title to win. Michael says he is focused and ready to come back with a bang. There are probably a dozen players out there thinking the same thing. It's just a matter of who comes out of the blocks quick enough.
Pro Tour return 'music to the ears'
It is going to be music to players' ears. There is going to be Pro Tours happening before a major event - five Pro Tours where they can actually play competitive darts.
They can be next to the player, read their body language, not throwing three darts and then waiting for your opponent to throw three darts on a screen.
If players are not ready now, they are never going to be ready. They've had ample time to keep practising and keep turning their arm over and if they feel they're not quite ready now, they have got a date to work towards.
They just have to make sure that they are ready. There are no excuses. It is great news, not only for the players but for the darts fans out there, knowing that there is going to be live darts action.
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