Phil Taylor has confirmed that he will not be appearing at next month’s World Cup of Darts in Frankfurt. ‘The Power’ teamed up with his fellow Stoke star Adrian Lewis to defeat the Dutch pairing of Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld in last year’s competition, although Taylor won’t be defending his crown this time around.
The 16-time world champion has been an ever-present at the World Cup since its inaugural staging back in 2010, with Taylor and Lewis winning the title on a record four occasions. They also finished runners-up to the Netherlands in 2014, with Taylor only failing to reach the final in 2010- when he was partnered alongside James Wade.
Taylor’s participation in this year’s event had been in doubt after he slipped below his compatriots Dave Chisnall and James Wade to ninth on the PDC Order of Merit- making him the fourth highest ranked Englishman. There had been speculation that Taylor may be handed an invitation, but the 56-year-old confirmed his absence earlier this week.
Ahead of last night’s Premier League semi-final clash against Peter Wright, Taylor revealed that he wouldn’t be competing in this year’s World Cup, telling BBC Sport: “When I come back from Dubai [Darts Masters on 24-25 May] I’m not doing the world pairs so I’ve got three weeks off. I’ve not had three weeks off in 10 years.”
‘The Power’ is continuing to scale down his commitments ahead of his impending retirement in January, although he insisted that he’d still be playing in a number of exhibition events. “When I say retire, I’m going to be doing other things, working probably 100-odd nights next year, so I won’t be retiring from work, I’ll be out there touring.”
As a result of Taylor’s absence, Dave Chisnall is expected to make his World Cup debut in Frankfurt and partner Adrian Lewis, who will be going in search of an unprecedented fifth World Cup crown. Nevertheless, the confirmed line-ups are expected to be announced next week, with the tournament getting underway on June 1st.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC