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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 representing England at the Darts World Cup

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.

Humphries and Smith will travel as England’s participants as they are England’s two highest ranked players in the PDC order of merit.

Despite Litter’s rapid rise to prominence in the sport, he is still only ranked at no.25 in the world and is ruled out of contention for Team England as a result.

The PDC Order of Merit ranks players based on how much prize money they have accumulated over a period of two years and Littler only made his debut on the senior tour in December 2023.

During his short career, the youngster has managed to rake in £303,500 in prize money but is still way behind world champion Humphries (£1,496,500) and semi-final rival Smith (£1,059,250) over the last two years.

Both Nathan Aspinall and Rob Cross are ahead of Littler in fourth and sixth place respectively.

Luke Littler - Getty
Luke Littler - Getty

Ahead of the play-off, Littler admitted he is looking to send a message to all those that have doubted his abilities.

“Well, they said I wasn’t ready – now look where I am,” he said. “I haven’t got the job done yet. But I have topped the table on debut as a 17-year-old. That’s all I have got to say for now.

"If I do go all the way, then there will be a big message for all those who doubted me.

"I’ve learned a lot, especially about the travelling and playing week-in week-out.

"I’ve got the hang of it. I know what to expect from all these players.

"It would mean a lot to win on debut, win my first major, but I have to get past Smithy first.

"I’ve been thinking to myself: Try to win when it matters. On Thursday night it matters a lot."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Darts, Luke Littler