Jelle Klaasen pulls out of Dutch World Cup team

Klaasen will not be featuring at the World Cup of Darts next month
Klaasen will not be featuring at the World Cup of Darts next month

Jelle Klaasen’s management team have confirmed that The Cobra has withdrawn from the Netherlands’ World Cup team due to “personal commitments”.

The announcement comes barely a fortnight before the competition kicks off in Frankfurt on June 2.

A short statement on the Sportsman Management Company Ltd’s social media page said: “The Dutch sensation admits he is disappointed to be missing out on the 2016 tournament but would like to wish the Netherlands’ representatives the very best of luck in the competition.”

The 31-year-old was set to represent his country at the tournament for the first time due to having earned a slender £1,750 more than his compatriot Raymond van Barneveld on the PDC Order of Merit, thus making him the second highest-ranked Dutch player.

The World Cup squads are selected on the basis of the two highest ranked Order of Merit players from each participant nation at the May 23 cut-off date.

However it now looks as if van Barneveld will team up with Michael van Gerwen in the £200,000 tournament the pair last won in 2014.

The relationship between van Gerwen and Klaasen has reportedly been a frosty one, with the world number one seemingly refusing to shake Klaasen’s hand when the pair faced each other in a European Championship match three years ago.

Two-time winners Netherlands take their place as third seeds behind reigning champions England and last year’s runners-up Scotland in the 32-nation knockout tournament, having been defeated by the Scots pair of Gary Anderson and Peter Wright at the semi-final stage in 2015.