Luke Littler's success is mind-boggling, players should be grateful for attention he has given darts, says Wayne Mardle

23 May 2024, 21:55 | Updated: 23 May 2024, 23:28

Sky Sports Darts pundit Wayne Mardle reflects on Luke Littler's Premier League victory and nine-dart finish in the final against Luke Humphries, hailing the teenager's performances under pressure and telling other players they should be grateful for the way he is bringing interest to the sport...

This kid has got it. Forget the age, he's just got it. There is many a player that will look at him and think, 'can I be that good?' The answer is no.

This kid is doing and has done more than 99 per cent of professionals that have been playing for 20 years. The reason is simple: he is better. He is better more often.

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Wins the Bahrain Masters. Hits a nine-darter. Wins a European event. Hits a nine-darter. Wins a ProTour. Hits a nine-darter. Wins the Premier League. Hits a nine-darter.

He doesn't have the odd good game, he has special moments. The three double tops last week. The nine-darter this week. Topping the table. It is insane what he is doing on a dart board.

The respect you can see and hear from the other players, they know. Game knows game.

Why wouldn't it be all about Littler?!

For me it is his calmness under pressure, to hold it together the leg after he hit the nine-darter. You can get foggy for a few darts but not him.

For him, nine-darters are not special. Of course they are, they always have something special about them, but he has hit four or five this year. Normal players don't do this. This is not the norm.

We are going to be waxing lyrical about him, hopefully for years to come.

Some players understand it is for the growth of the game, others away from the top echelon are like, 'why is it all about Littler?'

Why wouldn't it be?! He is putting money in their pocket, bringing new eyes to the game, bringing sponsors to the game that have never been interested in darts. Darts has gone bang.

Focused Littler proves he can win big titles

When Littler played Michael Smith in the semi-finals, there was nothing but focus the whole way.

In the final it wasn't great for 10 legs - both Lukes were feeling their way in - but after 5-5 the rest is history. Champions do it, they find a way. We now know Littler can cross the line.

What is there to win now? The World Championship? He has already made the final and his career is in the embryonic phase.

If that double two goes in to go 5-2 up against Humphries in the World Championship final, maybe he is already world champion. He missed his chance in that but took his chance in this.

What he has done is mind boggling. He plays with a swagger and a freedom that allows him to do things like this in the biggest matches.

In my opinion, in Liverpool he became a different human being, a different player. He showed he had this fight, this aggression in him. He showed it to the audience. He showed it again in Aberdeen.

When he won the tournament, all the emotion came out and that shows that while he is as cool as a cucumber, this means the absolute world.

What a brilliant end to a brilliant Premier League.

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