Morecambe's Dave Chisnall pulls out of World Darts Championship as reigning champion Gerwyn Price calls for event to be postponed
Gerwyn Price has called for the William Hill World Darts Championship to be postponed following a coronavirus outbreak at the event before storming into the quarter-finals.
Dave Chisnall became the latest player to withdraw from the tournament on Wednesday after testing positive.
The Englishman and world number 14 followed Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort out of the competition prematurely.
World champion Price wrote on his Instagram Story: “Tournament needs to be postponed”.
He later added in a second post: “I’ve been in their position so I feel for the players that have had to withdraw, there’s a lot of hard work gone into getting events like the World Championships on so postponing probably isn’t the best option but an option I wouldn’t disagree with, time to keep myself safe and out of touch…keep safe all”.
Welshman Price, the world number one, beat Dirk van Duijvenbode 4-1 in the evening session.
He finished with a 96.66 average and six 180s to go through to the quarter-finals, reeling off 12 legs in a row having lost the opening set.
Chisnall was due to play Luke Humphries in the last-32 on Wednesday, with Humphries now receiving a bye.
A statement from the PDC read: “Dave Chisnall has withdrawn from the William Hill World Darts Championship after testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of his match with Luke Humphries.
“Humphries will receive a bye to the last 16 and Wednesday afternoon’s session will continue with two matches.”
“Jose de Sousa will play Alan Soutar, and Nathan Aspinall then plays Callan Rydz.”
Chisnall’s withdrawal is another blow for the integrity of the showpiece tournament, with three-time world champion Van Gerwen having pulled out on Tuesday.
Van Gerwen described himself as being “sour” at his withdrawal and called on the PDC to do more.
“They actually have to check everyone at the door every day – they didn’t do that,” the Dutchman told AD Sportwereld.
“According to the British Government, this is not necessary, but to protect your own organisation and the World Championship, that would have been useful.
“The PDC will at all times say that they have followed the rules of the Government, but they could have been looked at more closely.
“The control has not been strong enough. It is just a big corona bomb now.
“It is as leaky as a basket. Now I pay a high price. I haven’t done anything at all – that makes it extra sour.”
Soutar finished with five 180s in the afternoon session in his 4-3 win over de Sousa.
In the only other game of the session Rydz secured his place in the next round with a 4-0 whitewash against Aspinall.
In the first match of the evening, two-time champion Gary Anderson came back from 3-0 down to beat Ian White 4-3.
In the final match of the evening, both Jonny Clayton and Michael Smith finished with averages of over 99 in a game that went down to the wire.
The pair exchanged blows the entire way through the match before Smith eventually emerged victorious, winning the tie break 6-4 in the deciding set.
Smith finished with an average of 102 and throwing 14 180s on his way through to the quarter-finals, while Clayton also had 11 180s.
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.