After the 2018 PDC World Championship was won by Rob Cross, PDC chairman Barry Hearn announced the Premier League lineup for 2018. This year's roster sees four debutants with Cross, Daryl Gurney, Gerwyn Price, and Mensur Suljovic.
Familiar faces Michael van Gerwen, Peter Wright, Gary Anderson, Raymond van Barneveld, and Simon Whitlock all return as well as Michael Smith who is coming off of one-year without the Premier League. With some new faces, there were some notable names that were left off of the list such as Adrian Lewis, James Wade, David Chisnall, and more.
We take a look at some of those players that were left out of this year's Premier League.
Two-time World Champion Lewis was left out of this year's Premier League, due to his disappointing 2017 season. He crashed out of the World Championship in the round of 16 to van Barneveld and then struggled to pick up notable results at the UK Open Qualifiers and the UK Open.
He was defeated by Paul Hogan at the UK Open. He picked up his first title of the year at Players Championship 5. That would be his only title of the year as "Jackpot" made a few more semifinals but a back injury and later, back surgery, shortened his calendar for the year. Lewis' injury did not allow him to participate in the World Series of Darts and European Tour circuits.
His loss to Kevin Munch of Germany was his first-career opening round defeat at the World Championship and has seen his rank fall all the way down to 19.
Chisnall is the highest ranked player to have missed out on the Premier League. Currently ranked at seven in the world, "Chizzy" has yet to win a televised title but an average season sees him miss out on the Premier League.
Chisnall made only one final last year but was whitewashed by van Gerwen in Shanghai. His 2018 World Championship ended in the opening round at the hands of Vincent van der Voort.
"The Machine" is currently ranked ninth in the world and himself and Chisnall are the only two players ranked inside the world's top 12 to have missed out on the Premier League. Wade, darts' most successful left-hander, made eight semifinals last year but was highly disappointing in many events.
For most cases, Wade would be clearly outplayed in most of his losses in 2017, including to those who were ranked much lower than him. Just like in case of Lewis, it was Wade's poor season which saw him left out.
Wade, like Lewis and Chisnall, was also eliminated in the opening round of this year's World Championship, losing to rising star Keegan Brown.
Two other players that were mentioned on the shortlist by Barry Hearn but fell just short of the Premier League were Dimitri van den Bergh and Jamie Lewis. Both men put on a show at the World Championships with van den Bergh reaching the quarterfinals, and Lewis reaching the semifinals.
Lewis had to qualify to get into the main draw and defeated James Richardson to become the first-ever preliminary round player to get to the quarterfinals. He did one better after whitewashing Darren Webster to reach the semifinals.
The Welshman took on Phil Taylor in the semifinals and lost 1-6 but the scoreline does not show how well Lewis played. "Rasta" took the opening set and had darts to win sets 2-4 but missed them. Taylor took the ensuing five sets and came back from 0-2 down in the seventh set to finish off Lewis.
For van den Bergh, he qualified by winning the World Youth Championship last year. He took out 21st seed Stephen Bunting in his opener and then defeated Jan Dekker to reach the last 16. In that final 16 match, he whitewashed fifth-seeded Suljovic to set up a showdown with Cross. In one of the matches of the tournament, the Belgian came from 1-4 down in sets to force a decisive ninth set.
In the ninth set, Cross hit double one to survive to make the semifinals. Hearn said that both men are still young and have plenty of time to get into the Premier League and noted that their youth was one of the reasons that they just missed out. However, he did mention that they will be used in World Series and European Tour events to get them acclimated to the tour.