Darts: Barneveld joins the glamour boys

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Raymond van Barneveld yesterday stunned the darts fraternity by crossing the rarely charted divide between the British Darts Organisation and the Professional Darts Corporation.

Only a month after insisting he had no plans to switch the Dutchman was confirmed in the seven-man line-up for this year's Premier League, which is backed by the PDC. Barneveld, four times a winner of the BDO's Lakeside World Championship, was considered a stalwart of the original governing body.

The Dutchman joins Phil Taylor, Colin Lloyd, Ronnie Baxter, Wayne Mardle, Roland Scholten and Peter Manley in the league which starts in Blackburn tonight. "The time was right," he said. "If you are a professional you want to play against the best - Phil Taylor. I hope to beat him."