BOWLS: Reigning champion Nicky Brett determined to defend his world crown

Reigning champion Nicky Brett hopes to defend the World Indoor Championship singles crown. Picture:

Reigning champion Nicky Brett hopes to defend the World Indoor Championship singles crown. Picture: TONY RUSHMER - Credit: Archant

Nicky Brett is determined to hang onto the biggest prize in his sport.

The Huntingdon IBC star begins the defence of his World Indoor Championship singles crown on Monday when facing Irishman Andrew Kyle in the opening round.

Brett lifted the famous trophy for the first time last year after beating Robert Paxton in the final.

Now, the 42-year-old, who works as a requirements manager for the Ministry of Defence at RAF Wyton, will attempt to become only the fifth man to successfully defend the title in the tournament’s 38-year history.

Brett, ranked number one in the world indoors, said: “Winning the world title is the stuff that dreams are made of - and I would love to experience it all over again.

“I’ve been playing the game for the best part of 30 years and watched all the top players lift the trophy on TV.

“Last year it was my turn, but that is now in the past and it is no longer the time for those plaudits.

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“It is now all about creating another great chapter in 2017 and I’ll certainly be giving it my best shot.

“It is always said that it’s harder to defend a major trophy than win it in the first place, but it’s been done in the past and it is certainly my aim.

“I’ll be trying four times as hard as last year - and I tried pretty hard then!

“This is the big tournament and the one that everyone wants to win - and virtually every player who qualifies is capable of going all the way.

“I’ve played plenty of games lately against top-class opponents. Some have been good, some bad, but I much prefer doing that to practising heavily.

“I’m sure there will be a shock result in the first round and the name of the game is making sure I’m not the one on the receiving end of it.

“I suppose there is a little bit of extra pressure as the reigning champion, but I would rather be in that position than not to have won the title.”

Brett has already suffered a disappointment at Hopton-on-Sea after being an early casualty in the Men’s Pairs.

He and partner Greg Harlow were shock losers in the opening round when beaten 3-5, 2-8 in straight sets by Welsh qualifiers Damian Doubler and Daniel Salmon.

Brett will team up with Claire Johnstone for the Mixed Pairs. They face Alex Marshall and Katy Smith in the opening round on Friday.