Gurney gets the nod as line-up for 2019 Premier League darts confirmed
These lads will be hitting up Dublin in February.
As is always the case on the night of the World Darts Championship final, no sooner is the trophy presented to the winner than Barry Hearn is centre stage on Alexander Palace.
The English promoter is given airtime to announce the always debatable, top secret list of participants for the coming year's Premier League darts competition.
The ten competitors are chosen via a system that has been in place for years where the world's top four ranked players are automatically selected, four more are chosen by the PDC on merit while Sky Sports are responsible for the final two wildcard picks.
And on the back of Michael van Gerwen's third World Darts Championship win, Barry Hearn was in the thick of it.
And not to buck any trends, some of the calls for the 2019 rendition have gone down like led balloons.
2019 Premier League darts lineup
Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld
First and foremost, the decision to include Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld was always going to be a divisive one. He never showed any kind of form in 2018 and on merit, the Dutch man shouldn't be within an ass's of the ten names.
What a boring Premier League Darts 2019 lineup, fully expected to see someone different involved. Barney selection is embarrassing for the game. He's now ranked about 28th. #whdarts #premierleaguedarts #pldarts @OfficialPDC
— Chris (@durhamchris1983) January 1, 2019
But, he is one of darts' most popular players and seeing as it will be his last year on the oche, it is a nice touch to grant the five time champ a dream farewell.
He was quick to thank the selection committee for his inclusion.
Very thankfull with the invitation for the 2019 Premier League !! I know some people think I don’t deserve it and I respect that. Maybe one day you are eager for one more chance too after a terrible time I hope you also get that chance then ! I will show the true Barney in 2019 !
— Raymond v Barneveld (@Raybar180) January 1, 2019
Another divisive inclusion is that of Englishman James Wade. He didn't endear himself to the darts faithful in Ally Pally over the last two weeks and many aren't happy at his inclusion.
Not a popular Premier League line-up this year.
BARNEY - 28th in the world. Yes he’s one of the greats but he’s been poor and uninterested this past year.
WADE - An idiot who let himself down.
PRICE - The biggest dickhead in darts.
An embarrassment to the sport. https://t.co/UlvQ7zhTGb
— anthony faulder (@anthonyfaulder) January 2, 2019
Those who find themselves unlucky to miss out include Adrian Lewis, Simon Whitlock, Joe Cullen etc.
2019 will see the main darting tour stretch across seventeen nights, beginning in February and coming to a conclusion in May.
Dates & Venues 2019 Premier League Darts
07 Feb – Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
14 Feb – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
21 Feb – 3Arena, Dublin
28 Feb – Westpoint Exeter
07 Mar – The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
14 Mar – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
21 Mar – Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
27 Mar – Rotterdam Ahoy
28 Mar – Rotterdam Ahoy – Judgement Night
04 Apr – The SSE Arena, Belfast
11 Apr – Echo Arena, Liverpool
18 Apr – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
25 Apr – Arena Birmingham
02 May – The Manchester Arena
09 May – The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
16 May – First Direct Arena, Leeds
23 May – The O2, London – Play-Offs
Bring it on!