Luke Littler’s rival wades in on World Cup of Darts ‘nonsense’ as teen left at home | Other | Sport

James Wade has rubbished the idea of changing the rules of the World Cup of Darts after Luke Littler was left out of the England squad for the tournament which begins on Thursday night. Littler has emerged as one of the world’s best players in recent months but was overlooked for the tournament in Germany.

Michael Smith and reigning world champion Luke Humphries will represent England, with the World Cup teams being decided by ranking points. Some fans have expressed a desire for the system to be tweaked to allow Littler to participate, but Wade has dismissed those suggestions as ‘nonsense’.

Writing in his column for the Daily Star, he said: “There has been a clamour for Luke Littler to be included in the England squad, but the World Cup teams have always been based on rankings. It’s nonsense some want to change that just to skewer their favourite players into the event. Luke Littler will be there soon enough on his own merit.”

Darts legend Dennis Priestley recently warned there would be a ‘boycott’ of the World Cup if the selection process was manipulated to shoehorn Littler into the England team.

“Sky Sports and the PDC could change the World Cup of Darts selection process to get Luke Littler in this summer and they wouldn’t get much stick for it,” Priestley told BestAnonymousCasinos.

“It would be the union who get the blame for letting them change the rules and I think it would cause a lot of upset for the players. They could even boycott if there is a late change of the regulations. It reminds me of them trying to fast-track Raymond van Barneveld into the Premier League when he moved over [from the BDO].”

Littler has enjoyed a meteoric rise since making his breakthrough at the World Darts Championship at the end of last year. He will get a well-deserved break during the World Cup, with Smith and Humphries looking to bring the trophy home from Germany.

The teenage superstar recently spoke about feeling little pressure to pull out of events if he decides he needs some time away from the oche. Asked if he feels he has to show up to every single event, Littler said: “Not really. I can pick and choose what I want to play because my rankings are good and I’ve qualified for almost every event so I just pick and choose.

“If I’m not up to it and the travelling is killing me off, I’ll just have a week off.”

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