Hearn responds to Cullens Premier League snub rant with good luck message
Barry Hearn has responded to Joe Cullen’s angry reaction to his Premier League darts snub with a good luck message.
Cullen, who missed a match dart against Michael van Gerwen to win the entire tournament last year, was one of the most high-profile players not to make it as the PDC finally confirmed the 2023 line-up on Monday.
World number five Luke Humphries is the most high-profile omission while UK Open champion Danny Noppert and European champion Ross Smith also missed the cut.
READ MORE: 'Gutted' Joe Cullen describes Premier League darts omission as a 'kick in the balls'
Instead, the world’s top four of Michael Smith, Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price will be joined by Dimitri Van den Bergh, Jonny Clayton, Nathan Aspinall and newly-crowned Masters champion Chris Dobey.
Cullen has been particularly outspoken about his non-inclusion, fuming on Twitter: “Gutted with my omission from the Premier League! Don't feel it's justified at all if I'm honest…. In fact it's a kick in the balls! But I’m certainly not the only player who rightly feels hard done by! Felt I deserved another chance after been 1mm from winning – been a tough day!!”
The Rockstar also ‘liked’ a series of tweets which criticised the Premier League line-up and received a supportive message from world champion Michael Smith, who said he was "gutted" that Cullen hadn’t been included.
Following the backlash, PDC chairman Hearn, who is still involved in Premier League selection despite handing over the chairmanship to son Eddie in 2021, was moved to tweet Cullen to offer something of an explanation.
“As with Luke [Humphries] yours was a tough call. Sure you will bounce back Into PL this season So good luck,” wrote Hearn, whose reply received a mixed reaction from fans.
What do you think of the Premier League line-up? Tell us in the comments section
One suggested: “Make it 12 players Barry. 2 groups of 6 or 16 with groups of 8. Top whatever go to next stage. You could even include a female player and youth champ that way and we all know the PDC would love that.”
Another fumed: “1mm away from winning last year's PL and doesn't get invited back, Shocking call.”
A third asked: “No quibble on any of your selections and Joe and Luke, among others, were doubtless on the cusp. How close were you to extending the number by 2 to accommodate those or others? Is that an option?”
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