Wright: Premier League woes won't ruin me

Peter Wright (Jonas Hunold/PDC)

Peter Wright insists he will refuse to let his Cazoo Premier League woes ‘ruin’ his career, after opening up on a turbulent period away from the sport.

Wright is languishing at the bottom of the Premier League pile following a tough start to his campaign, which has seen him win one game in the opening nine weeks.

The two-time World Champion is 13 points adrift of the Play-Off places with seven nights of league phase action remaining, ahead of Night Ten in Birmingham on Thursday.

Wright will take on World Champion Michael Smith in his quarter-final tie at the Utilita Arena, and he told the Darts Show Podcast he still believes he can defy the odds and salvage his Premier League season.

“It’s been a tough period,” reflected Wright, who claimed his solitary league win against Gerwyn Price on Night Six in Liverpool.

“I thought if I have time off it will keep me fresh for the Premier League and European Tours, but that’s backfired, so maybe I’ll have to go back to the ProTour events to keep me sharp.

“My form on the practice board is there, but I’m not producing up on stage at the moment. I know it’s not far away.

“I’ve got another seven weeks to still qualify for the Premier League Play-Offs. I know if it clicks I will do it.

“The Premier League is not going to ruin my career, because I know how to win big titles, and I will turn it around.”

Wright is featuring in his tenth Premier League campaign, although for a player of his pedigree, he admits his record in the sport’s biggest roadshow is slightly underwhelming.

The Scot has only made the Play-Offs twice in nine previous appearances, missing six match darts to beat Michael van Gerwen in an infamous 2017 final.

“I’ve been terrible in the Premier League [over the years],” conceded Wright, who also finished in the top four places in 2020.

“I think my best season was my first year when I just enjoyed it and enjoyed being around all the top players in the world at the time.

“I was in awe of who I was playing against. Phil Taylor, Michael [van Gerwen], Raymond [van Barneveld], Gary [Anderson], Adrian Lewis. 

“Look at the quality of who you were playing against. You had to step up or you would embarrass yourself.”

Following a difficult 2022 season, Wright enjoyed a terrific start to the year in January, lifting his first televised title for over 12 months at the Nordic Darts Masters.

The world number two defeated Van Gerwen, Smith and Gerwyn Price to triumph in the Danish capital, and he backed that up with an impressive semi-final showing at the Masters.

Wright's form has suffered since then, although he reached his first ranking quarter-final of 2023 at last weekend's International Darts Open in Riesa, defeating Jose Justicia and Alan Soutar en route.

However, the Scot's slump has coincided with a tumultuous period away from the board, with his wife Jo’s ongoing health problems one of many faced by the Wright family.

“Over the last few weeks Jo has had a fourth operation on her spine, and two weeks before that her brother had a cancer growth removed from his bowel,” revealed the 53-year-old.

“Her sister has been through a lot, and then Paul [his father-in law] had a stroke recently, but he’s back at home now. It’s just affecting his eyesight at the moment but hopefully that will get better.

“This has all been going on, and then I’ve got to try and get my head around playing darts.

“It is very difficult. They [his family] are normally here for me to make sure I’m practising and prepared.

“It is important to have them around, but I’m here to win games, win tournaments and hopefully I can start changing things.”

The 2023 Cazoo Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN, Viaplay and VTM, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

2023 Cazoo Premier League
Night Ten - Thursday April 6

Utilita Arena, Birmingham

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

Van Gerwen/Dobey v Aspinall/Clayton
Van den Bergh/Price v Wright/Smith


All matches the best of 11 legs