News

World Matchplay: Peter Wright hoping his gallstones don’t flare up ahead of title defence – Sky Sports

Peter Wright believes only a flare-up of his gallstones will stop him from retaining the World Matchplay title from Saturday, July 16 until Sunday, July 24 – live on Sky Sports; “It could flare up at any moment, I am just trying not to eat crumpets caked in butter”

Last Updated: 16/07/22 8:36am

Peter Wright begins the defence of his World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens against Madars Razma on Saturday

Peter Wright is planning to avoid eating crumpets caked in butter ahead of his World Matchplay defence with the Scot currently on a waiting list to have his gallbladder removed.

The 2021 champion and world No 1 begins the defence of his crown at the Winter Gardens against Latvian debutant Madars Razma on Saturday, but he has been struggling with his health in recent weeks.

Wright is on a waiting list to have his gallbladder removed and is wary that, in his view, only a flare-up of his gallstones will stop him from retaining the Phil Taylor Trophy in Blackpool.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Here’s the moment Wright became the 2021 World Matchplay Champion…
Here’s the moment Wright became the 2021 World Matchplay Champion…

“It could flare up at any moment, I am just trying not to eat crumpets caked in butter,” he said.

“I’m just waiting on a date to go in for an op, they will ring up when they’ve got space with a surgeon.

“The docs want to take my gallbladder out with keyhole surgery. It will probably be around three months’ time.

“I’ve just said not during the Matchplay or when I’m in Australia and New Zealand for the World Series. I’ve given them some dates but if it comes down to missing a tournament, I’ll have to accept it.”

First Round: Saturday, July 16 (1900 BST)

Krzysztof Ratajski vs Stephen Bunting

Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Callan Rydz

Peter Wright vs Madars Razma

Jonny Clayton vs Rowby-John Rodriguez

Wright won the World Championship at the beginning of the year but admits his form since then has been “terrible” and has been affected by a number of external factors, including his ill-health.

“At the UK Open I felt like I was going to win that tournament, I felt great,” he said.

“I was playing Joe Cullen and I went into the practice area about three hours before my match and I didn’t get up to throw a dart.

“I was going to pull out but I didn’t throw a dart until 15 minutes before I went on stage. I was in pain and I was going to pull out. It’s not nice, it’s happened before in the Players Championship when I had no sleep for about a week.

“Obviously my form has been terrible this year. I’ve had other stuff on my mind, we’ve had family stuff to deal with.

“All that is sort of settled so we know what we are doing now. My head is in a good space and that’s all that counts. I believe I can go and do it again, only better this time.

“The other players will have to go back on the practice board if they want to win this one. I’m going to go and win it again.

“I’ve been to the final and I’ve won it. I know what it takes to win it. My head’s right and if your head’s right, it’s difficult to stop someone if they’re feeling confident.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Wright celebrated his second world title with a Pot Noodle and a cup of tea
Wright celebrated his second world title with a Pot Noodle and a cup of tea

After posting eight ton-plus averages across four days of ProTour action in Barnsley last week, Wright is back in bullish mood heading to Blackpool.

“You cannot beat being at Blackpool,” said the 52-year-old, who finished last year’s tournament with an incredible 104.91 average.

“It’s a bit like the World Championship. When you walk into the arena, I get goosebumps. So many amazing people have performed there. You’re in a special place.

“I believe I’m hitting form just at the right time, but there is still room for improvement.”

Mixed bag of results for ‘Snakebite’ since Worlds

Sky Sports commentator Laura Turner has no doubt that Wright will recapture his form on the Blackpool stage.

“You could argue it has been a mixed bag of results for Wright since winning the World Championship back in January but if you go back to how he played last year he was almost unplayable at times,” she said.

“He goes into the event playing a player who has never beaten him before in Razma so hopefully he’ll go into that with the confidence he needs to take forward.

“You do think, he’s the world No 1, he’s the reigning world champion, and if anyone can find that form at the right time it’s Peter Wright.”

Live World Matchplay Darts

July 16, 2022, 7:00pm

Live on

A feast of darts coming up on Sky Sports…

A mouth-watering opening night in Blackpool will see a further three first-round clashes take place, including 2020 champion Dimitri Van den Bergh in action against Callan Rydz and five-time televised title winner Jonny Clayton taking on Rowby-John Rodriguez.

First Round: Sunday, July 17 (1300 BST)

Dirk van Duijvenbode vs Ryan Searle

Danny Noppert vs Brendan Dolan

Gary Anderson vs Daryl Gurney

Michael Smith vs Andrew Gilding

Sunday’s afternoon session sees 2018 champion Gary Anderson face Daryl Gurney, while 2019 runner-up Michael Smith plays Andrew Gilding and UK Open champion Danny Noppert meets Brendan Dolan.

First Round: Sunday, July 17 (1930 BST)

Joe Cullen vs Damon Heta

James Wade vs Martin Lukeman

Michael van Gerwen vs Adrian Lewis

Luke Humphries vs Nathan Aspinall

Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis meet in a clash of the tungsten titans as part of a mouth-watering Sunday evening session which will also sees Luke Humphries face Nathan Aspinall, Joe Cullen up against Damon Heta and 2007 winner James Wade in action against Martin Lukeman.

First Round: Monday, July 18 (1900 BST)

Rob Cross vs Chris Dobey

Jose de Sousa vs Gabriel Clemens

Gerwyn Price vs Martin Schindler

Dave Chisnall vs Kim Huybrechts

The first round concludes on Monday, with the night’s action headlined by world No 2 Gerwyn Price as the Welshman takes on German debutant Martin Schindler.

Check out daily Darts news on skysports.com/darts, our app for mobile devices and our Twitter account @skysportsdarts. We’re back for the World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool on Saturday, July 16 – live on Sky Sports Action.