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Other SportsLuke Littler rewarded for World Championship run with Premier League Darts place

Luke Littler rewarded for World Championship run with Premier League Darts place

Luke Littler has been included in the eight-man lineup for the 2024 edition of Premier League Darts following the 16-year-old’s stunning run to the final of the PDC World Championship.

Littler has helped to generate a new wave of interest in darts from younger generations in recent weeks, storming to the World Championship final on his first appearance at the event before falling at the last hurdle on Wednesday.

He missed a dart for a 5-2 lead in a thrilling final against Luke Humphries, who fought back to complete a 7-4 win and secure his first world title.

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Having entered the tournament ranked 164th in the world, the teenager secured a £200,000 payday and moved up to 31st in the rankings as a result of his fairytale run, and he has also been rewarded with a Premier League place.

Alongside Littler and Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, Nathan Aspinall, Michael Smith, Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross and Peter Wright will also feature in the tournament, which begins on February 1.

Speaking to Sky Sports News after the lineup was announced on Thursday, Littler said: “It’s just unbelievable. Obviously I got my first ranking money from the UK Open [last March], now I’ve got £200,000 and I’m a Premier League player.

“No more development tour, this is it!

“I’m in the Premier League and well inside the top 32. This is all it’s been for these past three weeks in London… it’s been crazy to be here.”

Asked about his reaction when he received the call to confirm his selection, Littler said: “As soon as I came off stage [after the final] and did the media, my manager pulled me aside and said: ‘Do you want to do it?’

“I said to my mum and dad; ‘lets do it, it may never happen again’. Just like being the runner-up, it may never happen again. I’ve got to take every chance I can get.”

The UK TV audience for Littler’s final defeat peaked at 3.7million people, the highest ever recorded for a non-football event shown by Sky Sports.

Humphries was speaking alongside Littler on Thursday, and he believes his rival will improve even further as a result of his Premier League involvement.

“I think Luke did make the right decision,” Humphries said. “He’s a top talent in darts now and this is what you want, playing against top players in top arenas.

“Seeing how talented he already is, this is going to take his game to a new level and hopefully it can do the same for me.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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