Andy Jenkins has called time on his cricket career after a hand injury left him sidelined for more than three months.
The Cosham-based former World Championship semi-finalist has endured a frustrating period out of action and all because of a fielding injury during a recent charity cricket match.
But with details now released of The Untouchables event, sponsored by Choicebet, at The Pyramids in Southsea on Friday, December 2, Jenkins has even more motivation to return to fitness and take his place in the event.
Jenkins said: ‘I was out for three months but I’ve just come back so I’m on the mend.
‘It was a charity game, I was fielding and slid into the barrier.
‘At the time, I thought I sprained it but it turned out I broke three of the little bones in the top of my hand.
‘It was the week before I was due to play at Bolton on TV and I had to play to get paid, so I took a load of painkillers, a couple of beers and lost 9-0!
‘But on the morning of that game, it was so painful, I couldn’t even get the dart to reach the board. It’s still not right now but it’s a lot better.
‘I don’t think I will be playing cricket again in a hurry, though.’
World champion Adrian Lewis will join a glittering array of top darts stars for this year’s showpiece with James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld, Simon Whitlock, Mark Webster, Andy Fordham and Arron Monk also in the line-up.
But there is also a place up for grabs for a local player to qualify.
A knockout event is being held at Cosham Royal British Legion on Sunday, November 20, to crown a Portsmouth champion, who will guest star in the competition.
Newcome Arms player Steve Filby snatched the spot last year and enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame with the sport’s big guns.
Jenkins said: ‘I played in it last year and it was a great event.
‘We’ve got Adrian Lewis coming down this year and some of the biggest names in the sport are playing.
‘It’s an opportunity for some of the good local players to get a chance and there are some good youngsters coming through.
‘It’s good exposure for them and it was packed out last year so hopefully there should be a good crowd again.’
With Jenkins – who is down to 62nd on the PDC order of merit – back on the circuit again, he is hopeful of returning to his best to claim a place at this year’s World Championship. He said: ‘My aim is to get into the World Championship again.
‘It’s the lowest I’ve been in my life and I need some results.
‘But I’m in the qualifiers for the World Championship and the Grand Slam and have got some tournaments coming up where hopefully I can find some form.’
Ticket prices for The Untouchables start at £12.50 and are available online at theuntouchables.tv or telephone 08450 180180.
To be eligible for the qualifier, players must be registered to play in a league in Portsmouth or the surrounding area. For more information, call (023) 9232 1140.