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Premier League Darts 2017 field: Klaasen and Huybrechts included in the elite line-up

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 3 Jan 2017
The ten-man line-up for the 2017 Premier League (credit:Sky Sports)

Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts will return to the Premier League Darts roster in 2017, with the elite road-show event featuring ten of the sport's top stars competing over 15 weeks of round-robin competition.
 
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Dutch star Klaasen consolidated his status inside the world's top ten during 2016, following up a run to the World Championship semi-finals by reaching the last four at the UK Open and the European Championship quarter-finals.
 
Klaasen previously competed in the 2009 Premier League, and will get a second chance to compete alongside the sport's elite stars in the forthcoming season, which begins in Newcastle on Thursday February 2.
 
Belgian star Huybrechts also returns to make his second Premier League appearance, having previously competed in the 2015 tournament, having reached three TV quarter-finals during 2016 and the World Cup of Darts semi-finals alongside brother Ronny.
 
With the world's top four players - Michael van Gerwen, Gary Anderson, Peter Wright and Adrian Lewis - qualifying by right, Klaasen and Huybrechts are two of the six Wildcard selections.
 
Six-time Premier League champion Phil Taylor is a Wildcard for the first time after dropping down to sixth in the PDC Order of Merit, with fellow former champions James Wade and Raymond van Barneveld joining Dave Chisnall in completing the ten-player field.
 
"As always this was a real tough decision because there are so many great players out there coming through," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn. 

"The Premier League is the pick of the greatest players who we think can give the best entertainment.

"I think we have a quality field, guaranteed a huge number of maximums and a few nine-darters in this year's Betway Premier League. Darts is not just a world-class sport but world-class entertainment as well.
 
"With the rewards on offer these kids can change their lives through playing professional darts, and we are the beneficiaries because we see world-class sporting entertainment."
 
Hearn also added that some players who missed out on selection for the Premier League are set to feature on the PDC's World Series of Darts tour throughout 2017.
 
"The four or five players who didn't get the pick will be involved this year in Premier League events as Wildcards to ensure that we grow the next generation of superstars.
 
"Daryl Gurney got really close and we'll be seeing him in some World Series events as he has another year to grow. Benito van de Pas is another great young player, but we've got so much choice that not everybody could get included."
 
The Premier League season will see the ten players face each other once over the opening nine weeks before the bottom two players are eliminated following Judgement Night on March 30.
 
The remaining eight players then compete over the remaining six league nights for places in the top four to progress to the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday May 18, with the semi-finals and final deciding the 2017 champion.
 
A record £250,000 first prize is on offer for the 2017 Premier League champion, with a £25,000 League Leader's Bonus also on offer for the player who finishes the regular season at the top of the league table.
 
Betway Premier League 2017 line-up
Michael van Gerwen (Netherlands) - reigning Premier League champion
Gary Anderson (Scotland) - 2011 & 2015 Premier League champion
Peter Wright (Scotland) - 2014 World Championship finalist
Adrian Lewis (England) - 2011 Premier League finalist
James Wade (England) - 2009 Premier League champion
Phil Taylor (England) - Six-time Premier League champion
Dave Chisnall (England) - 2015 Premier League semi-finalist
Jelle Klaasen (Netherlands) - 2009 Premier League competitor
Raymond van Barneveld (Netherlands) - 2014 Premier League champion
Kim Huybrechts (Belgium) - 2015 Premier League competitor
 
Tournament Dates
Night One - February 2, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Night Two - February 9, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Night Three - February 16, First Direct Arena, Leeds
Night Four - February 23, The Brighton Centre
Night Five - March 2, Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Night Six - March 9, The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Night Seven - March 16, Rotterdam Ahoy
Night Eight - March 23, The Manchester Arena
Judgement Night - March 30, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
Night Ten - April 6, 3Arena, Dublin
Night 11 - April 13, Echo Arena, Liverpool
Night 12 - April 20, The SSE Arena, Belfast
Night 13 - April 27, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
Night 14 - May 4, The Sheffield Arena
Night 15 - May 11, GE Oil & Gas Arena, Aberdeen
Play-Offs - May 18, The O2, London


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Premier League Darts 2017 field: Klaasen and Huybrechts included in the elite line-up

Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts will return to the Premier League Darts roster in 2017, with the elite road-show event featuring ten of the sport's top stars competing over 15 weeks of round-robin competition.

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