Darts: Nathan Aspinall wins inaugural 'Home Tour', world Matchplay to go ahead

Nathan Aspinall celebrates after winning the PDC 'Home Tour'.
Nathan Aspinall celebrates after winning the PDC 'Home Tour'. Photo credit: Professional Darts Corporation

England's Nathan Aspinall has won the inaugural Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) 'Home Tour ' title with a perfect display from the comfort of his own kitchen. 

The competition was set up to entertain darts fans stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was launched back in April and saw 101 tour card holders compete across 43 action-packed nights.

Aspinall, defeated Jelle Klaasen, Jonny Clayton and Gary Anderson - who initially announced he wouldn't compete due to a poor Wi-Fi connection at home - to top the Championship Group.

With nobody around to present a trophy, 'The Asp' celebrated with a vivid inscribed kitchen plate, as his dart board was set up in the kitchen from his Stockport home. 

With most other live sport cancelled during the lockdown, the concept captured the public imagination, even though the players were initially sceptical. 

"It's been a brilliant tournament," Aspianll said after winning the title. 

"I am up there with the best in the world and I was playing well before the break. It's been a tough time. I've had two months off with the family and it's all been new to me, I've loved it."

Before the tournament the 28-year-old didn't have a dartboard at home, but due to the lockdown he managed to find some space in his kitchen. 

He usually practices  in a specially designed darts room at his manager's work premises.

Meanwhile, the PDC confirmed plans that the World Matchplay will take place as initially scheduled from July 18-26.

The prestigious 32-player tournament is set to be the first fully televised PDC tournament to take place following the suspension of global sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

PDC officials are hopeful that a limited number of fans will be able to attend the event at Blackpool's Winter Gardens, but a decision on that will be made next month. 

"It is still our intention to be able to stage the Betfred World Matchplay with a crowd and we remain in talks with all relevant parties in a bid to achieve this," said PDC chief executive Matt Porter.

"We have worked hard with the venue, our broadcast partners and other parties to look at alternative dates later in the year, but with no guarantees of how restrictions may be lifted we have taken the decision to retain the original dates so that the Betfred World Matchplay can play a major part in our sport's return to action."

The Matchplay is considered to be the second-biggest tournament on the darts calendar, behind the world championship.