Averages, 180s and checkouts: The stats behind Luke Littler’s run to the World Championship final

Sixteen-year-old Luke Littler stormed into the World Darts Championship final with a 6-2 win over former champion Rob Cross.

Here, we put the youngster’s achievements in context.

Young gun

The famously raucous Ally Pally crowd chanted “you’ve got school in the morning” during Littler’s opening win over Christian Kist and he became the youngest player to reach even the last 16 of the event with his third-round win over Matt Campbell.

His youth was highlighted most of all in beating Raymond van Barneveld, the man he describes as “one of my idols” and fully 40 years Littler’s senior, to reach the quarter-finals.

The Dutchman won the 2007 World Championship 20 days before Littler was born and has been playing competitively for more than twice Littler’s lifetime, since 1984 when he himself was just 17.

Michael van Gerwen is the youngest PDC world champion, winning in 2014 at the age of 24 – and indeed the youngest major winner, aged 23 at the 2012 World Grand Prix – so time is on Littler’s side to rewrite the record books regardless of Wednesday’s outcome.

Jelle Klaasen won a BDO world title aged 21, while Eric Bristow won his first at 22 and was 27 when he inspired Sid Waddell’s famous commentary line comparing him to Alexander the Great.

Littler would be the first player to win the title on his debut since Cross himself in 2018. Dennis Priestley, in the inaugural event, and Van Barneveld are the only other players to achieve the feat but were both BDO world champions before switching allegiance.

A six-figure payday is already assured for the teenager, with £500,000 awaiting the champion and £200,000 for runner-up.

Tournament performance

Regardless of his age, Littler has produced a series of hugely impressive displays at Alexandra Palace.

He has compiled a three-dart average of 101.82 on his run through the tournament, topping 100 against Kist – with a tournament-high 106.12 – Van Barneveld, Brendan Dolan and with 106.05 against Cross.

His 44.68 per cent record on checkouts has helped ensure he has never been in a close match, winning 3-0, 3-1, 4-1, 4-1, 5-1 and then 6-2.

A 180 in the decisive leg of the seventh set against Cross was his 16th of an outstanding match and his 50th of the tournament.

He has hit 293 centuries in all, including 70 scores of 140 and, with his accuracy when switching to treble-19, 134 on a remarkable 46 occasions.

Eighth seed Cross was the highest-ranked scalp on a run which has also seen Littler take out three players ranked in the 20s in Gilding, Dolan and Van Barneveld. Littler’s own ranking could climb as high as ninth in the world if he wins the final.