01 February 2023

Gerwyn Price ready for the flak in Premier League with ear defenders prohibited

01 February 2023

Gerwyn Price is ready to put up with possible crowd abuse in the Premier League after confirming he will not be wearing ear defenders again.

The Welshman caused a stir at the recent World Championship when he donned the accessory midway through his quarter-final defeat to Gabriel Clemens after the boisterous Alexandra Palace crowd starting getting to him.

It did not do the trick as he surprisingly went out before threatening never to play the event again.

Price, who regularly attracts boos and jeers from the audience, is in action on Thursday night as he opens his Premier League campaign against Nathan Aspinall in Belfast and will not have any noise-dampening equipment on after PDC changed the rules to prohibit them.

“I wore the ear defenders once and I won’t be wearing them again. It’s best left at that if I’m honest with you,” he told Sky Sports.

“I’m not a fan of in-ear plugs that Mervyn King wears. I’ve just got to grin and bear whatever comes my way like I have the last couple of years, and just play darts.

“I’m here to play darts. I’m here to do the best I can, whatever is thrown at me. That’s all I can do, so looking forward to playing in Belfast and Cardiff next week. Hopefully I can reward the crowd again with some good darts and hopefully one or two nine-darters as well.

“I want to do well in the Premier League right now. I’m here to win. Right here, right now, this is where I play well.”

Michael van Gerwen begins the defence of his title in a rematch of the World Championship final against Michael Smith.

I wore the ear defenders once and I won't be wearing them again. It's best left at that if I'm honest with you

Smith got the better of him at Alexandra Palace but Van Gerwen has won this tournament six times and is celebrating a 10th anniversary of his maiden triumph which came on debut as he beat Phil Taylor in the final.

“It has not been too bad, over the years I have done well, you always need to be critical of yourself and say maybe I could have done better at stages,” he said.

“That’s not to mean I have under-performed, it is what it is. I feel good, comfortable and hope I can get into this.

“It was an amazing moment for me winning on my debut, that will always stay with me, against such a big player in such a big tournament was amazing.”

Smith, who won arguably the greatest leg of darts in the World Championship final when he landed a nine-dart finish after Van Gerwen had missed his own chance, is enjoying his status as world champion.

  • Dimitri Van den Bergh
  • Jonny Clayton
  • Michael Smith
  • Michael van Gerwen
  • Peter Wright
  • Chris Dobey
  • Nathan Aspinall
  • Gerwyn Price

He said: “I always look forward to the Premier League, apart from the World Championship it is the pinnacle of the sport. The top eight players going at it, what’s not to like.

“I am coming into the Premier League as a world champion. I have not had time to sit down and think about it.

“I don’t want it to settle in, I like the walk-ons and keep playing and winning tournaments. It has been a nice rollercoaster that I don’t want to get off yet.

“I know he is going to be up for it because he wants to prove a point. Hopefully the crowd get what they deserve and hopefully we can hit another special leg as well.”

In the opening night’s other games, Dimitri Van den Bergh faces Jonny Clayton and Masters champion Chris Dobey takes on Peter Wright.

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