MIKE WARBURTON has his sights set firmly on securing a place in November’s Grand Slam of Darts.

The Welsh international from Gwersyllt currently tops the BDO World rankings and is confident that despite not playing tournament darts since February, he will get the call to mix it with the best later this year.

“The Grand Slam of Darts is a competition I want to play in, and topping the ranking, I should have done enough to qualify,” said the 35-year-old Airbus worker, who has been a regular on the Icons of Darts online league circuit for the past five months.

He returned after a four-week break to push Boris Koltsov all the way in Tuesday’s six-man group, losing out on leg difference.

“I honestly hadn’t picked up a dart in weeks,” added the father of four. “They were still in the board from the last time I played so to win three out of five and just miss out on top spot, I’ll take that.”

The Icons League took a break while the PDC World Matchplay took centre stage in Milton Keynes - and Warburton was glued to a tournament that saw Dimitri van den Bergh become champion.

“It was no Winter Gardens but it was great to watch,” said Warburton. “Milton Keynes could be the venue for the Grand Slam, we’ll have to wait and see.

“Nothing beats playing in front of crowds at darts tournaments and you’d hope that fans will be allowed back in.

“Playing in these competitions online has been great, I’ve loved it.

“There’s great banter between the players and I’ve also played my all-time hero Phil Taylor in one of the rounds.

“Going up against him was something I’ll never ever forget.

“But there’s no better feeling than playing with spectators watching and I thrive on that kind of atmosphere.”

Warburton’s exposure on YouTube during the coronavirus lockdown has also increased his number of followers.

“I’ve had positive feedback from a lot of people in Wrexham, especially here in Gwersyllt,” added Warburton, who watched Martin Adams take top spot in Thursday's and Saturday's events.