Darts star speaks out after PDC picked Luke Littler over him to play in Premier League | Other | Sport

Joe Cullen has insisted that he supports the PDC’s decision to pick teenage superstar Luke Littler over him to play in this year’s Premier League Darts. Cullen was not included on the eight-man list of players released on Thursday, with Littler making the cut after his incredible run to the World Darts Championship final.

Luke Humphries, Michael van Gerwen, Michael Smith, Nathan Aspinall, Gerwyn Price, Rob Cross and Peter Wright were also invited by the PDC, with Cullen among the biggest names to be overlooked. He was not overly disappointed at missing out, though, as he suggested that the sport of darts will benefit from having Littler in the competition instead.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Cullen wrote: “Had plenty of messages about PL picks – some saying I should be in, some saying other players should be in. Personally think @OfficialPDC got it right this year! Littler HAD to be in! The global attention his rise has attracted is huge for darts! And we as players will all benefit.”

Littler began the World Darts Championship ranked 164th in the world but has risen to 31st after beating Christian Kist, Andrew Gilding, Matt Campbell, Raymond van Barneveld, Brendan Dolan and Cross on his way to the final. He has since been rewarded with a spot on the prestigious Premier League tour, which will see him become the youngest player in the competition’s history.

Speaking about his inclusion on Sky News earlier this week, Littler said: “It will be right up my street and I can’t wait. Obviously Manchester and Liverpool are very close to my home town [Warrington] and I’m looking forward to the magnificent Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin [as well as] Cardiff, Brighton.

“It’s going to be an amazing experience. Playing darts week in, week out, in front of tens of thousands of fans, against the world’s best players, is a dream come true. I’m looking forward to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, it’s massive and they have a nice crowd over there in Germany.

“It might be lively in Cardiff if I end up playing Gezzy [Price] there on the opening night when he gets the crowd on his side, but it will be an amazing experience and a good test for myself. But that’s the nature of the Premier League. I’ve just got to do what I do and show why I’m there every week.”

It remains to be seen how Littler will fare in the Premier League as he looks to build on his World Darts Championship fairytale over the next few months. He is expected to bring a new wave of fans to the tour, with his final against Luke Humphries breaking the record for the most-viewed non-football event in Sky Sports history.

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