Ian ‘Diamond’ White is one of the best players in the game. It is time he was given an extended chance to show it.
Some of us have been making the case for Ian White’s inclusion in the Premier League line-up for a while. For me, it is a combination of two things. Firstly Ian is a tremendous player whose full potential is yet to be seen. His recent European Tour performances have begun to turn this around and his tremendous Pro Tour record just keeps going from strength to strength.
Ian has been consistently in the top 16 for the past few years and has reached the last 8 of many of the top events, including the Matchplay and World Championships. He is also a former News of the World finalist, a fact often forgotten in the PDC dominated era, and England international.
It should also be noted that Ian has huge success, in short(ish) format matches. On the floor, in the best of 11, he has been superb for more than five years. But also in these Euro events with staged increases from best of 11 to best of 15 in the final. Surely it will not take him long to settle into the Premier League.
In addition, he can produce, quite regularly, performances the simple destroy even the very best. He defeats MVG twenty-five-per cent of the time and has inflicted 6-0,6-1 and 6-2 defeats on Micheal in raking events.
Secondly, Ian has been both dreadfully unlucky and, arguably, poorly treated. On more than one occasion he has been in the running, for a PL place, when the ‘powers that be’ seem to have worked against him. Perhaps the best example was in 2015. White was ranked inside the top ten and in reasonable form. A decent run in the last part of the year would have seen him selected. Instead, White was placed in a group with three former World Champions at the Grand Slam. The event was PDC ranking for the first time. Whitey had to deal with Martin Adams, who was under no pressure at all, and two others who were also out for the raking points/£s. In contrast, Micheal Smith had to deal with the sentimental return of Andy Fordham and only after Adrian Lewis had dealt with the initial emotional match, and the lower ranked Wayne Jones.
This favouring of others seemed to show itself again when Smith was given another Premier League outing, in 2017, despite poor performances and placing, in his first year. It seemed to many that Ian had again been harshly overlooked.
This is not to say that Ian could not have done more to force the door open. He should have done better in that 2015 Grand Slam. The former BDO guys sometimes find it tough to play their former, or current, friends and comrades. He also suffered a couple of early World Championship exits that set him back. If you are not the biggest character in the game, or young and dynamic, perhaps you have to do more than the rest of the contenders?
However, surely we are seeing the tide turning in Ian’s favour? He is back in the top ten and likely to rise further before the years’ end. He is winning events, on stage against the very best opposition. Surely it is only a matter of time before he goes on a similar run in a TV major.
If, and when, that happens it will be time to finally give the ‘Diamond’ his chance to shine.