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Wayne Mardle makes outrageous claim about 16-year-old Luke Littler after debut at World Darts Championship

Wayne Mardle makes outrageous claim about 16-year-old Luke Littler after debut at World Darts Championship

Luke Littler has progressed to the second round of this year's tournament after a convincing victory over Christian Kist.

He was greeted to chants of "you've got school in the morning" by the Alexandra Palace crowd on Wednesday night as he ran rampant against former BDO world champion Christian Kist, but can Luke Littler go all the way?

The talented 16-year-old, from Runcorn, Cheshire, became the fourth youngest player to compete at the World Darts Championship when he took to the oche against Kist.

And soon, Littler would register the highest-ever average by a debutant in the competition's history, hitting seven 180's, an 11-darter and nine of his 18 attempts at a double.

“It was an amazing experience,” said the teenager in his post-match interview. “I knew my practice was going well, but I didn’t think that I would take that on to the stage.

“To hit the highest average on debut at the World Championship – this definitely ranks at the top of my achievements so far. It’s unbelievable.”

Luke 'The Nuke' Littler certainly delivered on his Ally Pally debut and after his breathtaking display, five-time world semi-finalist Wayne Mardle made a bold statement.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, the 50-year-old wrote: "You’ve just witnessed something extraordinary," he said on Twitter, shortly after the game finished. "Luke Littler may be the most naturally talented player I’ve ever seen."

He added: "Fearless. Unscarred. Brilliant. Why can’t he win it? Someone tell me why he can’t? Tell me? C’mon, tell me?"

So there we have it. Mardle rates Littler above the likes of Phil Taylor, Eric Bristow Michael Van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld when it comes to being naturally gifted with the Tungsten in his hand.

He wasn't the only one to heap praise on the darting prodigy. Ahead of his debut, 16-time world champion Phil Taylor tipped Littler to be one of the all-time greats.

"I'm predicting he will be one of the best players ever," he said. "He's the best [teenager] I've ever seen in my life. We'll see what happens over the next 10 years, and what happens over the next five years when he's earned a few bob and wants to enjoy himself.

"Naturally when you're 16, 17, 18 [you want to go out and enjoy yourself], and the lad could be a millionaire. But then you've got to stay in and dedicate yourself, and that's going to be a bit difficult for the lad."

Featured Image Credit: X/@SkySportsDarts

Topics: Darts