Adrian Lewis believes the World Darts Championship has become “very stretched”

Lewis has his say on the expanded field (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Adrian Lewis has criticised the newly-expanded World Darts Championship format, admitting there are “too many players” in the tournament. 

The field of players for the William Hill World Championship has been expanded from 72 to 96 for the first time, with a record prize fund of £2.5 million on offer.

With 28 sessions taking place over 16 days of action at Alexandra Palace, this year's staging is the biggest in the history of the tournament, but not all players are on board with the changes. 

Lewis, back-to-back World Champion in 2011 and 2012, believes there "too many games" and admits he found it "boring" waiting eight days to contest his first game.

"Let's say one thing, I think it's been very stretched, this tournament," Lewis told Live Darts.

"When I was watching all the matches, I think it did get a bit boring at times if I'm honest.

"There's been far too many games and you're waiting around a hell of a long time. 

"In the snooker [World Championship] there's 32 players and in this there's 96 so I think I do think there's too many players in the tournament."

Lewis atoned for last year's shock First Round exit at the hands of Kevin Munch by defeating emerging star Ted Evetts in his opening tie last Thursday.

The Stoke star, seeded number 16, looked to be on a collision course for a show-down with Raymond van Barneveld in Round Three, only for Lithuanian debutant Darius Labanauskas to tear up the script and dump out the five-time World Champion.

Lewis admits he would have preferred to face Van Barneveld in what could prove to be the Dutchman's final World Championship campaign, but admits he is fully-focused on the task in hand.

"I wanted to play Ray because I think he deserves that, this might be his last year at the Worlds," added Lewis.

"If he doesn't go to tournaments next year he won't qualify for the World Championship the following year.

"When I was coming up the hill and saw the palace I thought 'come on now, this is your year'.

"I have to forget what happened last year, it's all about this year.

"Sometimes you've just got to put that behind you and move forward.

"There's a lot more to come from me."


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Adrian Lewis believes the World Darts Championship has become “very stretched”

Adrian Lewis has criticised the newly-expanded World Darts Championship format, admitting there are “too many players” in the tournament.

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