Darting greats Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will be renewing their rivalry – after Paddy Power set up a Darts From Home match between the pair, in conjunction with Target Darts.
The legendary Taylor and Van Barneveld, who have won 21 world titles between them, have met in two world championship finals, winning one apiece. The Paddy Power match, in almost no way at all, will act as the determiner.
Their last meeting was in 2017, with Taylor winning their Champions League of Darts match-up. This will be the first time they’ve played each other – or, indeed, anyone – digitally.
Using the interactive Target Nexus dart board, the pair will be able to play remotely – with the board allowing the players to see, speak to, and play each other from their own homes, meaning the match can happen in complete isolation during lockdown.
Paddy Power will make a £1,000 donation to the NHS charity Heroes for every 180 hit in the match.
And big finishes are practically guaranteed – with the entire bullseye (including outer and as well as inner bull) worth 50 in soft-tip darts, this match could have one of the highest averages in darting history.
The clash will be filmed on mounted iPhones sent to both players and will be available to view on Paddy Power Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels, as well as Target Darts Twitter and Facebook.
That’s if they know how to operate them. Paddy Power technicians had to send Taylor an extensive brief on how to use the phone – and have even removed all other apps to ensure he finds the camera function. Let’s hope he hits record.
Either way, he will be cheered on by girlfriend Karen – so long as she’s back from walking the dog in time. Her words, not ours.
It follows the brand’s exhibition match between former England footballers Wayne Bridge and Jamie Redknapp last week.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: “The whole world has been lamenting the loss of top-level sport to keep us entertained in these strange times.
“Well you don’t get much more top-level than Taylor and Barney when it comes to darts, and both players will be really going for it.
“It may not be Ally Pally, but Darts From Home should at least offer some relief for all my fellow sports fans who are going stir crazy during lockdown.”
James Tattersall, Target Darts spokesperson said: “Sport provides entertainment and brings people together.
“We wanted to give sports fans some action and for sports stars to have some competitive fun – what better way than using our online dart network to create a Darts from Home match!”