Peter Wright will launch the defence of his PDC World Darts Championship title against Steve West or Amit Gilitwala, while Deta Hedman will face Andy Boulton on her debut.
Wright won his maiden world title with victory over Michael van Gerwen last year and is seeded second for this year’s event, meaning he will join the tournament at the second round stage.
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Wayne Mardle was at Sky Sports News to draw the ties for the first round on Thursday morning and Indian debutant Gilitwala will face the experienced world No 45 West for the right to meet Snakebite in the last 64.
World no 1 Van Gerwen will begin his quest for a fourth world title against either Scotland’s Ryan Murray of Lourence Ilagan of the Philippines and Gerwyn Price, a beaten semi-finalist last year, meets Luke Woodhouse or Jamie Lewis.
For the third year in succession two women will take to the Alexandra Palace stage, with Hedman and Lisa Ashton looking to follow in the history-making steps of Fallon Sherrock. Two years on from defeat to Jan Dekker, Ashton will get the chance of a first televised win over a man when she faces Adam Hunt in the first round.
All eyes will also be on 60-year-old Hedman, who will be playing in the event for the first time, becoming the second oldest debutant in the competition, and she will meet world No 58 Andy Boulton – the winner will face Stephen Bunting in round two.
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The rest of the draw has thrown up some fascinating encounters with the tie of the first round likely to be Luke Humphries against the legendary Paul Lim.
Former world youth champion Humphries wasn’t even born when Singapore’s Lim played in his first World Championship in 1982 and almost 40 years on from that the pair will meet for the right to face World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh.
2018 champion Rob Cross faces a tough opener against either World Grand Prix runner-up Dirk van Duijvenbode or World Youth champion Bradley Brooks, while two-time champion Gary Anderson is drawn to face either Latvia’s Madars Razma or Japan’s Toru Suzuki.
Another two-time champion, Adrian Lewis, now ranked 21st in the world, will have his work cut out against Damon Heta or Danny Baggish, while Grand Slam of Darts champion Jose De Sousa takes on Ross Smith or David Evans.
Three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant reached the last eight on his debut last year and he could face another former Lakeside champion in the second round. Steve Beaton, champion in 1995, is making a record-breaking 30th consecutive appearance in World Championships and he takes on Brazil’s Diogo Portela for the right to face Duzza.
PDC World Darts Championship – Second Round Draw
(1) Michael van Gerwen vs Ryan Murray/Lourence Ilagan
(32) Ricky Evans vs Mickey Mansell/Haupai Puha
(16) Joe Cullen vs Wayne Jones/Ciaran Teehan
(17) Jonny Clayton vs John Henderson/Marko Kantele
(8) Dave Chisnall vs Keegan Brown/Ryan Meikle
(25) Danny Noppert vs Martijn Kleermaker/Cameron Carolissen
(9) Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Luke Humphries/Paul Lim
(24) Jermaine Wattimena vs Derk Telnekes/Nick Kenny
(4) Michael Smith vs Jason Lowe/Dimitri Gorbunov
(29) Devon Petersen vs Steve Lennon/Daniel Larsson
(13) Gary Anderson vs Madars Razma/Toru Suzuki
(20) Mensur Suljovic vs Maik Kuivenhoven/Matthew Edgar
(5) Rob Cross vs Dirk van Duijvenbode/Bradley Brooks
(28) Jamie Hughes vs Adam Hunt/Lisa Ashton
(12) Glen Durrant vs Steve Beaton/Diogo Portela
(21) Adrian Lewis vs Damon Heta/Danny Baggish
(2) Peter Wright vs Steve West/Amit Gilitwala
(31) Gabriel Clemens vs Andy Hamilton/Niko Kurz
(15) Krzysztof Ratajski vs Ryan Joyce/Karel Sedlacek
(18) Simon Whitlock vs Darius Labanauskas/Chengan Liu
(7) James Wade vs Callan Rydz/James Bailey
(26) Stephen Bunting vs Andy Boulton/Deta Hedman
(10) Ian White vs Kim Huybrechts/Di Zhuang
(23) Jeffrey de Zwaan vs Ryan Searle/Danny Lauby
(3) Gerwyn Price vs Luke Woodhouse/Jamie Lewis
(30) Brendan Dolan vs Mike De Dekker/Edwards Foulkes
(14) Jose De Sousa vs Ross Smith/David Evans
(19) Mervyn King vs Max Hopp/Gordon Mathers
(6) Nathan Aspinall vs Scott Waites/Matt Campbell
(27) Vincent van der Voort vs Ron Meulenkamp/Boris Krcmar
(11) Daryl Gurney vs Willie O’Connor/Niels Zonneveld
(22) Chris Dobey vs Jeff Smith/Keane Barry
You won’t miss a dart this Christmas thanks to the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel which returns from December 15 until January 4 for every session from the World Darts Championship
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