LEWIS HITS WHYTE & MACKAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS JACKPOT!
ADRIAN LEWIS is the second Sky Sports Wildcard for the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts.
The announcement of Lewis^ return to Premier League Darts sees the 24-year-old, recently named as the PDC Young Player of the Year, complete the eight-player field for the tournament, which begins at The O2 in London on February 11.
World number seven Lewis previously competed in Premier League Darts in 2007 and 2008, reaching the semi-finals two years ago before losing to Stoke rival and former practice partner Phil Taylor.
Lewis, who won two Players Championships in 2009 and hit the second nine-darter of his career, also lost to Taylor recently at the quarter-final stage of the Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship.
"Adrian has been rated as a great talent since he broke through over five years ago but he has shown a maturity and consistency in his game over the past six months," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
"He is confident of challenging on a regular basis for darts^ major titles now, starting at the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts, and we are all excited to see him back in this event.
"His performances in the recent Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship were exceptional and we are looking forward to seeing that on a regular basis in the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts."
Lewis^ inclusion sees him join the other Sky Sports Wildcard, Simon Whitlock, in competing alongside the top six players from the PDC Order of Merit - Phil Taylor, Raymond van Barneveld, James Wade, Terry Jenkins, Mervyn King and Ronnie Baxter - in the Premier League.
The event will be played from February-May at 14 arenas around the UK, with the eight players meeting twice in a league format before the top four compete in the play-offs at Wembley Arena on May 23.
"I^m delighted to be given the Sky Sports Wildcard and hopefully it will be third time lucky in the Premier League for me," said Lewis.
"I want to prove what I can do and win a major tournament and now I^ve got this chance I^m determined to take it.
"I think I^m a more experienced player than when I played in the Premier League before. I know what to expect from the crowd and enjoy playing in front of the big crowds.
"I^m a more consistent player than I was and if I can keep averaging over 100 week-in and week-out in the Premier League I^ll be happy. My aim is to finish in the top two after 14 weeks and then look at the play-offs!"
Sky Sports commentator Sid Waddell said: "Adrian is the most naturally gifted player in darts.
"He^s a brilliant young talent who will pose a real threat to the others in the Premier League, and he^s also a showman who loves to play up to the crowd - and there^s never a dull moment when he^s at the oche."
Waddell added: "Looking at the confirmed line-up of players, plus the venue list, I^ve no doubt this is going to be the best Premier League yet. I can^t wait for our opening night at The O2 next month."
Tickets for the Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts are still available, priced at £30 and £20, plus any applicable booking fees. For further information, visit the Tickets section of www.pdc.tv.
The final line-up of eight players for the 2010 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts is:
Phil Taylor – nicknamed "The Power", 15-time World Champion & four-time Premier League Darts champion
Raymond van Barneveld – nicknamed "Barney", five-time World Champion and current world number two
James Wade – nicknamed "The Machine", current Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts champion
Terry Jenkins – nicknamed "The Bull", 2007 Premier League Darts runner-up
Mervyn King – nicknamed "The King", 2009 Whyte & Mackay Premier League Darts runner-up
Ronnie Baxter – nicknamed "The Rocket", current world number six
Simon Whitlock – nicknamed "The Wizard", the 2010 Ladbrokes.com World Darts Championship finalist & Sky Sports Wildcard
Adrian Lewis – nicknamed "Jackpot", current world number seven & Sky Sports Wildcard