2018 Premier League of Darts players announced

Newly crowned World Champion Rob Cross and defending Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen lead the way in a stacked field of 10 players.

2018 Premier League of Darts players announced
Rob Cross and Michael van Gerwen met in a classic semifinal showdown during this year's PDC World Championships (Justin Sutterfield/Getty Images)

After Rob Cross defeated Phil Taylor to win the PDC World Championship, the 2018 Unibet Premier League Darts roster was announced. 10 players were named to the event with the top four from the PDC Order of Merit getting in automatically and then six additional wildcards (two from Sky Sports, four from the PDC).

Automatic Qualifiers

The top four players in the PDC Order of Merit were automatic qualifiers led by Michael van Gerwen, the two-time reigning Premier League Champion. Next up was last year's runner-up Peter Wright. Wright, famously known as "Snakebite" missed a number of doubles to clinch what would've been his biggest title ever last year in the final against va Gerwen.

Cross continued his Cinderella story, going from earning his Tour Card back in February to World Champion in just 11 months. His run included three Players Championship titles, two European Tour finals, and a European Championship final. His World Championship run saw him survive match darts vs Michael Smith and van Gerwen before sending Phil Taylor into retirement with a comprehensive victory which saw him rise to world number three.

Gary Anderson was the final automatic qualifier as Taylor, the world number four, retired from darts after this World Championship. 

Peter Wright will definitely be one to watch in the Premier League, not only for his darts but his fantastic hair too (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Peter Wright will definitely be one to watch in the Premier League, not only for his darts but his fantastic hair too (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Wildcards

Three wildcards will be making their Premier League debut, led by world numbers five and six with Daryl Gurney and Mensur Suljovic respectively. Gurney is another young emerging star in the sport at 31-years-old. Suljovic won the Champions League of Darts last year.

World number 12 Gerwyn Price is the last debutant in this year's Premier League. He was a UK Open finalist last year, losing to Wright. 

Three familiar faces are making a return, led by Raymond van Barneveld. Barney won the Premier League in 2014. Simon Whitlock returns to Premier League Darts for the first time since 2014 while Michael Smith comes back after a one-year layoff.