Why Luke Littler is ineligible to represent England at Darts World Cup even if he wins the Premier League

Why Luke Littler is ineligible to represent England at Darts World Cup even if he wins the Premier League

Luke Littler may ‘force’ the darts World Championships to move from the iconic Alexandra Palace

Barry Hearn has claimed the World Championships may move from Alexandra Palace because of the Luke Littler

 

Barry Hearn has claimed the World Championships may move from Alexandra Palace because of the Luke Littler effect on the sport.

 

Hearn has likened Littler’s impact to Tiger Woods, days after the 17-year-old followed up his record-breaking run to the World Championship final by winning the Premier League.

 

While Alexandra Palace is considered the home of darts, having hosted the World Championships since 2008, the 3,200-capacity venue is limited and tickets tend to sell out in July before hitting general sale.

 

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Matchroom president Hearn admitted he is considering extending the size of the tournament, and insisted the Professional Darts Corporation is keeping its options open.

 

“Do we need to move to a bigger venue? The bigger hall at Ally Pally needs a lot of work done to it but it could handle 6,000 people per session,” Hearn told the PA news agency.

 

“So there is the potential. But the other side of it is the game of darts around the world is getting so huge I actually need to make the World Championship longer.

 

“If I have got eight extra sessions I have got 25,000 more tickets to sell. But inevitably in the end we are going to be looking at what we are going to do.

 

 

 

“It is one step at a time, I am not a gambler, but sometimes you get a curveball like Luke Littler and you have to rethink your strategy.

 

“We reckon we could sell 250,000 tickets for the World Championship and they wouldn’t fit in the Ally Pally.

 

“It’s one step at a time, we are looking at the big hall but it needs a lot of work done. We are keeping our options open because we have learned with Luke Littler that you sometimes can’t see what is coming. It’s under discussion with everybody.”

 

Hearn added that he believes Littler can take darts to “another level in the stratosphere”.

 

Luke Littler won the Premier League on Thursday (Getty)

Luke Littler won the Premier League on Thursday (Getty)

“This is going to a level we have not come across before,” he said. “Darts is a massive business, but we have gone to another level in the stratosphere. It’s not a massive surprise but it’s the best 2024 present I could have asked for.

 

 

“I have had broadcasters around the world queuing up, sponsors wanting to see what’s available, reports from future events selling out. Rather than petering out, it is gaining momentum. I call it now the Luke Littler effect, the gift that keeps on giving.

 

“I would compare him to the British version of Tiger Woods. He has his feet on the ground and doesn’t seem to get phased, for a 17-year-old that is just amazing. I just think that darts hasn’t even started in where it is going to go globally.

 

 

“I have been in this business for 50 years and I have never seen anything like this in any sport, it’s as simple as that.”

 

 

 

Why Luke Littler is ineligible to represent England at Darts World Cup even if he wins the Premier League

 

Why Luke Littler is ineligible to represent England at Darts World Cup even if he wins the Premier League

 

 

Luke Littler won’t be able to play for England at the Darts World Cup if he wins the Premier League.

 

Littler heads into the Premier League play-offs for the first time and enters after topping the league phase by an impressive eight points in his debut season.

 

The 17-year-old has gone from strength-to-strength after finishing runner-up to Luke Humphries in the World Championship back in January.

 

Littler will face Michael Smith in the semi-final at the London O2 Arena tonight while Humphries will battle Michael van Gerwen for a place in the final.

 

The winner will pocket £275,000 in prize money.

 

If Littler emerges victorious, he will be prevented from representing England at the World Cup of Darts due to a PDC rule.

 

The competition begins on June 16 in Frankfurt and ends on June 19 and England’s representatives have already been chosen.

 

Gideon Canice

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