Raymond van Barneveld tests positive for Covid-19 after defeat to Rob Cross

Darts hero Raymond van Barneveld has tested positive for Covid-19, just hours after his defeat at the World Darts Championship.

Barney was swept aside 3-1 by 2018 winner Rob Cross in a pulsating encounter at Alexandra Palace on Thursday night in the final session before Christmas.

The Dutchman, competing at Ally Pally for the first time since u-turning on his decision to retire, had booked his place in round two with a comfortable 3-0 win over Lourence Ilagan.

With the crowd on his side, Barneveld made a roaring start to claim the opening set against Cross, only for the Englishman's class to tell and win nine of the next 12 legs to secure a place in round three of the competition.

Barneveld confirmed late on Christmas Eve that he had tested positive for Covid-19 and that he had been in contact with both the PDC and Cross to inform them of the situation.

The five-time world champion was due to fly home to the Netherlands after his defeat but will now spend Christmas in London as he undergoes a period of self-isolation.

He told fans of the news on Friday evening.

Can Barney win another PDC major? Let us know in the comments section.

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"Dear fans, unfortunately I have to announce that I tested positive for COVID19," he posted on Twitter.

"During the match I didn't have any symptoms, but afterwards I started to realise that I was developing a shortness of breath and fever.

"I directly called my manager Ben de Kok and he advised to go straight to my hotel room and to not give interviews in order to avoid any risk.

"At the moment I do suffer from fever and serious tiredness. The upcoming days I will stay in quarantine in London.

"We already spoke with Rob Cross and the PDC about the current situation. Stay safe."

Cross, who is the sixth favourite to win his second World Championship, is due to face Northern Irishman Daryl Gurney in the third round on Tuesday December 28.

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