The Professional Darts Corporation [PDC] have become embroiled in a dispute with Sky Sports concerning the inclusion of Fallon Sherrock in this year’s Premier League Darts.
Traditionally, the players chosen to feature in the competition are announced following the conclusion of the World Championship final. However, after Peter Wright scooped his second World Championship title on Monday, organisers did not reveal any details.
According to the Telegraph, It is understood that the delay has occurred because Sky Sports and the PDC are unable to agree on which players deserve to be selected for the tournament.
Since 2013, the format has seen 10 players involved, with the top four players in the world qualifying automatically and the other six picked as wildcards.
Sherrock’s possible inclusion has been discussed for some time now but several prominent figures in the sport have stressed she is undeserving of a place.
PDC chairman Eddie Hearn said Sherrock was certainly in consideration for a spot and highlighted how she has the potential to inspire a new generation of female darts players.
“Right now, Fallon is the flagbearer for the growth and development of women’s darts because she has the profile to inspire a new generation of women’s darts players and she is one of, if not, the main reason why that investment has come from the PDC,” he said.
If you’re going to get growth at a younger level across females in darts, she’s the kind of person that’s going to inspire that.
“Fans will want her in, broadcasters will want her in, but there is a real feeling from the PDC board that the Premier League is an event that rewards players for performances and consistency over the period and we’re starting to now see that consistency from Fallon Sherrock. You cannot ignore the profile and the noise it creates for darts.”
Sherrock first made a name for herself at the 2020 World Championships, when she became the first player to ever win a match at the event –– leading her to assume the nickname The Queen of the Palace.
And last year at the Grand Slam of Darts, Sherrock became the first woman to reach the last 16 of a major darts tournament after beating Gabriel Clemens in her final group match.
But despite her history-making exploits, the 27-year-old suffered defeat in the opening round of the 2022 World Championships.
Former professional darts player Wayne Mardle says this is enough proof that Sherrock is not worthy of competing with the sport’s elite players just yet.
“I was waxing lyrical during the Grand Slam saying why not consider her for a Premier League place because of the way she was playing,” he said. “But I really do think that’s got to be forgotten about and be on the back burner because that performance [against Steve Beaton] wasn’t good enough to warrant a Premier League spot.”
The Premier League is due to start on February 3rd in Cardiff. Currently, Covid regulations in Wales mean a crowd will not be allowed.