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Fallon Sherrock withdraws from 2020 BDO World Championship

Jamie Shaw in BDO World Championship 31 Dec 2020
Sherrock left a lasting legacy on the sport following her exploits at Ally Pally (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Fallon Sherrock has pulled out of the 2020 BDO World Championship amid the news of a reduced prize fund and poor ticket sales.

Sherrock had been installed as the favourite for the Ladies competition following her historic run to the Last 32 of the PDC World Championship and was due to face Australia’s Corrine Hammond in Round One.

However, the 25-year-old has decided to withdraw from the BDO’s show-piece event following Monday’s revelation of a slashed prize fund and only 15 per cent of tickets having been sold.

The BDO announced in August it was to take the World Championship away from Lakeside for the first time in 33 years, with London’s O2 Indigo confirmed as the new venue.

Leaked documents in recent weeks showed around 2,500 tickets have been sold across the entire week of the tournament so far, accounting for just 15 per cent of the capacity.

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin penned a letter to all competitors outlining that the prize fund would be reduced by more than half, which he attributed to ‘toxicity’ on social media causing the promoters to be unable to attract a title sponsor.

Jacklin had promised earlier in the year that Women’s World Champion would pocket a record £20,000 top prize, an increase of £7,500 from 2019, but instead the winner will now receive a mere £8,000.

Sherrock secured a record £25,000 for reaching the Last 32 at Alexandra Palace, defeating Ted Evetts and world number 11 Mensur Suljovic in a run which created global headlines, and has now opted to pull out of the women’s show-piece.

A statement posted by her management company MODUS read: ‘Fallon Sherrock has decided not to take part in the BDO Women’s World Championship next week.

‘The decision took many factors into consideration, including unexpected changes to the event made yesterday.

‘Fallon offers best wishes to the BDO and the best of luck to those taking part.

‘In the meantime Fallon is looking forward to doing her best in the other tournaments in 2020.’

Sherrock has been handed a place in every PDC World Series of Darts event for 2020 which includes events in New York, Copenhagen, Germany, New Zealand and a double-header in Australia.

The 2015 women’s world finalist will compete at Qualifying School in January in an attempt to secure a coveted two-year PDC Tour Card.