Rob Cross picks sides after angry Luke Littler row as Phil Taylor comment made | Other | Sport

has jumped to ‘s defence after a fiery altercation between ‘The Nuke’ and Ricardo Pietreczko at the Belgian Darts Masters. ‘Voltage’ believes Littler has the raw ability of Phil Taylor and should be allowed to embrace his flamboyant playing style without receiving backlash.

Pietreczko was outraged after suffering a 7-3 defeat in the Belgian Darts Masters semi-finals. Shaking his head as he walked up to Littler, the German bellowed in his opponent’s face and later called him ‘arrogant’ on social media.

“I really appreciate the fact that he can play a game like that at such an age,” wrote Pietreczko. “But I hope his arrogance punishes him.” His reaction is believed to stem from Littler’s audacious attempt at a 147 checkout.

Rather than going the conventional route, the 17-year-old went for treble 19, double 20 and bullseye, but ultimately threw his second dart out of the board.

Clearly siding with Littler over the fuming Pietreczko, 2018 world champion Cross feels that the youngster should be allowed to express himself on stage. “There’s nothing wrong with a bit of swagger,” he said.

“Luke has got the X factor. Let him celebrate, let him try the outrageous shots. Who cares? Luke has made darts rock n’ roll over the past three months.

“Everyone is talking about the sport and he is backing up the hype with the results. We are talking about a kid who is right up there with the attitude of Eric Bristow and the potential winning ability of Phil Taylor. Long may it continue.”

Darts legend Wayne Mardle also hit out at Pietreczko, writing on X: “I’ll tell you this… pull one of us ‘old school’ players up like that, you won’t do it again.”

Cross was on the receiving end of a scintillating Littler performance in the Belgian Darts Masters final, as ‘The Nuke’ hit a nine-darter en route to winning the match 8-7.

Littler is now up to 28th in the PDC world rankings and has opted to sit out Players Championship 5 and 6 in Germany early next week. He will, however, be back in Premier League Darts action in Nottingham tonight (Thursday).

The 2007-born prodigy has put himself in a strong position to make the play-offs but he is yet to notch an overall victory, and clinch the £10,000 weekly winner bonus, on any of the six nights so far.

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