Durrant and Dobey among nine players to replace Anderson in 2019 Premier League Darts

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 4 Feb 2019
Durrant will make a guest appearance in Glasgow (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Nine players will replace Gary Anderson for the opening nine nights of the 2019 Unibet Premier League.

Anderson confirmed on Monday morning that he had pulled out of the competition due to a serious back injury and "would risk long term damage" if he was to compete in the 16-week road-show event.

In an unprecedented move, he has now been replaced by nine new names, branded 'contenders' - who will each contest an exhibition match at a venue local to them.

Among the contenders are a trio of young players who impressed in the recent World Championship, as well as reigning BDO World Champion Glen Durrant and a clutch of other fans' favourites.

Ally Pally semi-finalist Nathan Aspinall will star in Nottingham, quarter-finalist Luke Humphries will play in Exeter, while Chris Dobey will be the hometown hero in Newcastle on the opening night on February 7.

German superstar Max Hopp, who reached the semi-finals of the European Championship, will raise the roof in Berlin, Scottish hero John Henderson will feature in Aberdeen and emerging Irish talent Steve Lennon will take to the stage in Dublin.

As five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld waves farewell to his Dutch army of fans on the second of two nights in Rotterdam, a new Dutch star will be born as World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan plays in front of the sea of orange.

Three-time Lakeside Champion Durrant, who recently won his PDC Tour Card at his first attempt, will make an appearance in Glasgow, while back-to-back World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who landed a nine-dart finish at the Grand Slam of Darts, will compete in Rotterdam’s opening night.

"First of all, everyone at the PDC would like to wish Gary Anderson a speedy recovery back to full fitness as soon as possible," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.

"Gary's withdrawal has opened up an incredibly exciting opportunity for the nine contenders to go out and show what they’ve got on some of the biggest stages in world darts.

"The young players who impressed at Alexandra Palace have already shown they can cut it in darts’ biggest ever tournament, while rising stars Max Hopp and Dimitri Van den Bergh have been shining lights in the growth of the sport in recent years.

"The local favourites have earned their chance to entertain the crowds and TV viewers, with every one of them will bringing something different to the Premier League party in 2019, and I’m sure they’ll cause a few shocks along the way.

"The PDC has always been about giving opportunities to players and we felt this was the perfect chance to do something revolutionary, as we now look forward to an exciting year of Premier League Darts ahead in 2019."

Points won by the nine contenders will not count towards the league table, however their opponents will retain any points gained from the matches.

Contenders will receive financial bonuses for winning or drawing their matches.

Following the opening nine nights of fixtures, the player placed ninth on the Premier League table following Judgement Night in Rotterdam will be eliminated from the competition, with the remaining eight players battling it out from nights ten to 16 in the race for the Play-Offs at The O2. 



Unibet Premier League 2019 Fixtures - Nights 1-9


Night One - Thursday February 7

Utilita Arena, Newcastle

James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
Chris Dobey v Mensur Suljovic
Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
Peter Wright v Rob Cross

Night Two - Thursday February 14

The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Peter Wright v Michael Smith
Rob Cross v James Wade
Raymond van Barneveld v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen

Night Three - Thursday February 21

3Arena, Dublin

Gerwyn Price v James Wade
Steve Lennon v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
Mensur Suljovic v Raymond van Barneveld

Night Four - Thursday February 28

Westpoint Exeter

Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price
Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Night Five - Thursday March 7

The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen

Michael Smith v Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney v James Wade
Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v John Henderson

Night Six - Thursday March 14

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
James Wade v Mensur Suljovic
Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld
Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney

Night Seven - Thursday March 21

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin

Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross
James Wade v Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Mensur Suljovic
Max Hopp v Raymond van Barneveld

Night Eight - Wednesday March 27

Rotterdam Ahoy

Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
James Wade v Dimitri Van den Bergh
Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney

Judgement Night - Thursday March 28

Rotterdam Ahoy

Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic
Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
James Wade v Michael Smith


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Durrant and Dobey among nine players to replace Anderson in 2019 Premier League Darts

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