Bobby George blasts BDO decision to leave Lisa Ashton out of Grand Slam line-up

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 1 Nov 2018
George does a piece to camera during his work for the BBC at Lakeside in 2007 (credit:Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Bobby George has branded the BDO’s decision not to include Lisa Ashton in their quota of Grand Slam representatives as “ridiculous”.

The BDO confirmed their eight representatives for the cross-code major last month, with the reigning Lakeside Champion and runner-up joined by the World Masters champion and the next top five players from the BDO rankings.

No women have been involved in the tournament since 2010 - when PDC Women's World Championship finalists Stacy Bromberg and Tricia Wright both received a spot.

Anastasia Dobromyslova and Francis Hoenselaar competed in the 2009 Grand Slam courtesy of their Women's World Championship wins in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Ashton has dominated the women's game in recent years, claiming Lakeside glory in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, while also securing a second World Masters title last month. 

Two-time world finalist George has heavily criticised the BDO's selection process for the Grand Slam, insisting Ashton should have received an invite.

"She's the ladies World Champion and the ladies World Master - it doesn't take a lot of working out," George told Live Darts.

"You can't have the best if you haven't got the best in it.

"She's the best lady darts player in the world and she should actually be in it.

"I don't how that came about, I can't get it in my head - it's ridiculous."

Ashton took to Facebook to express her disappointment at the decision, suggesting the BDO ought to 'hang their heads'.

On Tuesday, the BDO announced a three-year broadcast deal with Eurosport to screen to the World Championship, World Trophy and World Masters.

It was also confirmed the January's World Championship will be held at the Lakeside complex, ending months of uncertainty.

George, who was part of the BBC's coverage of Lakeside from 1998-2016, feels the tournament has gone downhill and believes the BDO are not doing enough to sell out venues.

"I worked on it for years but I think it's gone down the swanny now if you want the truth," he added.

"I'm not being nasty, but they've got a ship in the harbour, loads of crew, a big sail, but they've got no wind, they're not going anywhere.

"It's a shame because you need the BDO, the youth and ladies, it teaches you the game.

"I feel sorry for the players because they work hard, they go around the world for mickey mouse money and when they do play they're not looked after like Modus looks after us.

"The BDO just let you do what you want to do and it's a bit messy.

"It's a shame really because that's where I started and it's where I got my name.

"You had 20 in the crowd at the World Masters - how embarrassing.

"One of the best tournaments there was in darts and one of the oldest.

"It's a shame that a tournament with that prestige is now like playing in a pub, it's a joke."



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Bobby George blasts BDO decision to leave Lisa Ashton out of Grand Slam line-up

Bobby George has branded the BDO’s decision not to include Lisa Ashton in their quota of Grand Slam representatives as “ridiculous”.

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