ROB CROSS has revealed that it’s been the “worst year” of his life as he bids to bounce back from Unibet Premier League elimination.
The 2018 World Champion was left bottom of the pile after an emotional rollercoaster few months during and after the coronavirus lockdown.
Cross, 29, was devastated to lose his grandad to Covid-19 in April but then wife Georgia had their fourth child Bobby last month.
It was clear that distractions off the oche affected him when he returned to the big stage in Milton Keynes and he failed to add to his pre-corona five point tally.
The Sussex star has vowed to get his game back on track but is brutally honest that his family life has naturally taken its toll.
World No.5 Cross admitted:
“It’s been hell to be totally honest, the worst year of my life. Definitely.
“But what can you do? Sometimes life comes at you pretty fast and all you can do is deal with it as best you can. There’s no textbook.
“No one saw corona coming, we didn’t reckon on losing our grandad Colin so suddenly. We had to adapt very quickly and be there for each other.
“There has been a lot going on. My nan moved into our house so we could care for her and support her after losing grandad. Family always comes first.
“Obviously it’s been one extreme to another with Georgia having our fourth child. That’s been brilliant but it’s also been a relief. She had a really tough pregnancy, ended it in a wheelchair with complications.
“I’m not a robot, I’m a family person so all these things affect me so much.
I can’t turn round and tell you my mind has been focused on my game during that time. Of course it hasn’t.
“The end result is what happened in the Premier League. You can’t hide a lack of preparation in this game. You can’t hide from problems. It will show and you will be punished on the stage.
“All I can do is take stock, take a breather and come back a stronger person.”
Cross will return to action for the Autumn Series later this month and insists that he is still learning about the sport every day.
He added: “I know it sounds daft, but I am still new to the game. I’ve not had as many highs and lows as the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson who have been on the circuit for over 15 years.
“I’ve only been a professional for three years really. I’m gaining experience still and learning to deal with the bumps in the road.
“There’s been so many issues off the oche this year including in my darting business set-up. They have been solved now and I can now just focus on my game.
“There’s only one way to win darts matches and that’s to work hard and just when you’ve done that, you need to work even harder. I know that’s the answer. I will do it.
“It’s been a stressful few months but my head feels clearer now and that’s what I need. They say you learn more in defeat and I have.”