March 29, 2019 / 2:37 PM / 3 months ago

Darts - Van Barneveld reverses decision to retire, will continue playing in 2019

FILE PHOTO: Darts - Betway Premier League Darts 2016 - Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales - 31/3/16 Raymond van Barneveld in action Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Peter Cziborra/File Photo

(Reuters) - Five-times world darts champion Raymond van Barneveld has said he will continue his career for the rest of the year, a day after announcing his retirement from the sport.

Following back-to-back Premier League Darts defeats in Rotterdam, the 51-year-old Dutchman had said he would stop playing with immediate effect in an emotional backstage interview with Sky Sports on Thursday.

Van Barneveld, who has slipped to 30th in the Professional Darts Corporation’s Order of Merit, had originally planned to quit after the end-of-year PDC World Championship held at Alexandra Palace in London and has resumed that decision.

“I realise that I should not speak out like that when I feel such raw emotion,” Van Barneveld said in a statement on Friday.

“I want to end my career at Alexandra Palace during one final World Championship.”

One of the greatest players of the modern era, Van Barneveld has won four BDO world titles and one PDC world crown plus two UK Open titles as well as the Las Vegas Desert Classic, the Grand Slam of Darts and the Premier League.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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