Fallon Sherrock has pulled out of next week’s BDO World Championship after it was revealed yesterday that the prize fund for the event had been reduced amid dismal ticket sales and the failure to obtain a title sponsor.
There had been growing uncertainty surrounding the 2020 BDO World Championship, which has moved away from the iconic Lakeside Country Club for the first time in 33 years, with the Indigo at the O2 hosting the flagship competition.
BDO Chairman Des Jacklin wrote to players yesterday informing them that prize money had been cut due to a lack of sponsorship and just 15% of tickets being sold, which Jacklin attributed to ‘toxicity’ on social media.
Following the uncertainty engulfing the future of the British Darts Organisation and the significant reduction in prize money, Sherrock’s management company MODUS issued a statement revealing that the 2015 Lakeside finalist would not be participating in next week’s showpiece.
“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,” the statement read.
Sherrock was the star of this year’s PDC World Championship, becoming the first woman to defeat a man in the tournament’s history. She kicked off her debut campaign with victory over Development Tour winner Ted Evetts, before sensationally dumping out 11th seed Mensur Suljovic.
Sherrock’s fairy-tale run came to an end against Chris Dobey in round three, but ‘The Queen of the Palace’ acquitted herself superbly. She boasted a tournament average of over 90, crashed in 18 maximums, converted seven ton-plus checkouts and boasted a checkout success rate of 51%.
Her exploits generated unprecedented coverage for the sport across the mainstream media, with a host of famous faces following her progress, including Tennis Icon Billie Jean King and renowned broadcaster Piers Morgan.
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn also revealed that Sherrock’s third-round clash against Dobey on Friday secured the highest TV audience for an afternoon session in darting history, with the New York Times among the publications that reported on her ground-breaking success.
The Milton Keynes ace has been invited to compete in all six PDC World Series events in 2020 and there is speculation that Sherrock will be included as one of nine ‘challengers’ in next year’s Premier League.
Mikuru Suzuki pocketed £12,000 for winning the BDO World Championship in January and Jacklin vowed to increase that figure to £20,000 in 2020, although the organisation’s financial crisis means that next month’s winner will receive a paltry £8,000, with first round losers set to earn just £500.
Sherrock has already confirmed that she will be attempting to secure a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School next month, with Mikuru Suzuki, Lisa Ashton, Lorraine Winstanley, Deta Hedman and Anastasia Dobromyslova also expected to be in attendance.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC