Fallon Sherrock “will bring excitement” as controversial World Championship call-up backed

Fallon Sherrock has been awarded a place at the 2023 World Darts Championship at the Alexandra Palace, the third time the female star will appear at the tournament

The decision to hand Fallon Sherrock a call-up to the PDC World Championship has been backed by Grand Slam of Darts champion Michael Smith.

‘The Queen of the Palace’ seemed set to miss out on the Alexandra Palace when she failed to book a qualifying spot via the Women’s Series – with Lisa Ashton and 18-year-old sensation Beau Greaves taking the two places. But the Professional Darts Corporation then announced that Sherrock’s win at the inaugural Women’s World Matchplay in Blackpool this year was enough to seal her inclusion.

Only last week, Sherrock caused a stir by publicly lamenting the atmosphere on the women’s tour. The 28-year-old alleged she was ‘hated by rivals and didn’t feel welcome, but Smith has hailed the ‘excitement’ she brings to male dominated tournaments.

After finally ending his wait for a first major title on Sunday with a 16-5 win over Nathan Aspinall in Wolverhampton, Smith was asked about Sherrock’s invitation: “Yeah it is good,” he replied.

“I know there’s a bit of controversy around it, but Fallon brings excitement to the Worlds, she brings a lot of attention by media, by people tuning in to watch. It’s going to be a fantastic year this year. You’ve got Fallon, Lisa [Ashton] and Beau Greaves – who is one of the best women darts players around at the minute, so everyone is trying to avoid her in the draw.”

Sherrock made waves on her debut experience at the ‘Ally Pally’ in 2019/20, beating Ted Evetts 3–2 in before stunning 11th seed Mensur Suljovic 3-1. Her challenge ended against Chris Dobery in the third round, and after failing to qualify the following year, she fell at the first hurdle last year when she was beaten by Steve Beaton.

And Smith added the notion of female stars taking on their male counterparts made things intriguing: “It’ll be fun, and hopefully all the girls miss each other in the draw, and hopefully there’s a few upsets.,” he added. “We’ll see. As long as we get all the attention, and everyone tunes in to watch the darts, we’re all happy.”

Sherrock’s inclusion comes amid the PDC confirming increased prize money for the Women’s Series in 2023, which will consist of an expanded 24 events across six weekends. There will now be £10,000 per event on offer to players.

This follows an additional four events being added to the calendar from the 20 played in the inaugural Women’s Series this year, and means total prize money of £240,000 will be on offer in 2023. Sherrock, who in the 2021 Grand Slam of Darts became the first female to reach the last 16 of a major darts tournament, has been largely credited for bringing increased exposure to the women’s game.

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