Peter Wright’s inclusion in the 2024 edition of Premier League Darts has been queried, with some backing more in-form players to take his place, but ‘Snakebite’ has hit back
Two-time world darts champion Peter Wright hit out at pundit and former pro Chris Mason over suggestions Chris Dobey was worthy of a place in Premier League Darts this year.
‘Snakebite’ Wright, who won the world title in 2020 and 2022, was one of four wildcard picks for the 2024 Premier League alongside the top four on the PDC order of merit. World Championship runner-up Luke Littler also earned a pick, as did former world champs Rob Cross and Michael Smith.
Scottish pro Wright fell to Cross at the quarter-final stage in week one of the competition in Cardiff. The 53-year-old posted the lowest average of all eight players involved, prompting questions on whether another player might have been more deserving.
Dobey has made back-to-back quarter-finals at the World Championships, suffering a narrow defeat to Cross in the latest edition, and won the 2023 Masters. However, an animated Wright pointed to the 33-year-old’s lack of major honours.
“It was to shut Chris Mason up saying Dobey should be in the Premier League,” Wright told ITV Sport after beating Krzysztof Ratajski in the second round of the 2024 Masters. “What’s he won? He won a Masters, a Mickey Mouse tournament.
“That’s all he’s won. Has he won a European? Has he won a major – a proper major? No he hasn’t. Well, he shouldn’t be in the Premier League.
“Yes he was a better player than me last year, so what? What’s he won? I’ve won two world titles, two World Cups, two Europeans and Matchplay and whatever else.”
The comments clearly made their way to Dobey, who was in action in the evening. “Just getting warmed up for my Mickey Mouse competition,” he said with a smile before beginning his own match.
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Dobey isn’t the only player who was suggested as an inclusion for the Premier League. Joe Cullen was among those suggested as an alternate to teenage sensation Littler, only to issue a classy response after missing out on a spot in January.
“Had plenty of messages about Premier League picks – some saying I should be in, some saying other players should be in…” Cullen wrote on social media. “Personally think @OfficialPDC got it right this year!
“Littler HAD to be in! The global attention his rise has attracted is huge for darts! And we as players will all benefit,” he added. Littler won his quarter-final against Luke Humphries in Cardiff, only to fall in the semis against Smith.
It was Smith who won the first £10,000 weekly prize, taking his first step towards the Premier League finals in May. After pipping Michael van Gerwen in the quarters and Littler in the semis, he sealed a comfortable 6-2 triumph over Gerwyn Price in the final.