Luke Humphries admits it will be a ‘surreal feeling’ when he makes his long-awaited BetVictor World Cup of Darts debut in Frankfurt on Saturday.

World number one Humphries will spearhead England’s title challenge at the Eissporthalle, as he competes alongside 2023 World Champion Michael Smith for the four-time winners and top seeds.

England – as one of the top four ranked nations– will enter the tournament in Saturday’s second round, and it will mark another landmark moment in Humphries’ career.

“It will be a surreal feeling,” reflected Humphries, who is determined to deliver in the four-day festival of darts.

“It’s like the World Championship win. You don’t really think it’s going to happen to you until it does!

“It’s going to be a very special moment for me and my family. I’ve always wanted to represent my country, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Humphries was embroiled in a compelling battle for World Cup qualification with Rob Cross 12 months ago, losing out to the former World Champion in a decisive shoot-out at the 2023 European Darts Grand Prix.

However, the 29-year-old believes that disappointment provided the motivation for the incredible success that followed, as he bids to cap off a dream year by adding a maiden World Cup crown to his growing haul.

“I was so close to qualifying last year,” continued the Premier League runner-up.

“People were saying to me: ‘Don’t worry, next year will be your year’, but in the back of your mind, you’re thinking: ‘Will it happen next year?’

“When Nathan [Aspinall] then won the World Matchplay he was about £100,000 ahead of me on the Order of Merit, so I knew I had to produce something big.

“I certainly did something big, and my World Championship win has probably given me the gift of being able to play in it next year as well, so I’ve got two cracks at it.

“I really want to go on and win it this year though, because I think we’ve got a great chance. We just need to make sure we play to the strengths of our team.”

Since the inception of the World Cup of Darts, England and Netherlands have both lifted four titles apiece, although England’s last triumph in the event came back in 2016.

Phil Taylor and Adrian Lewis are the only players to have guided England to glory in the unique pairs event, and Humphries is confident of creating further history in Frankfurt this weekend.

“Phil is obviously the greatest player of all-time, and Adrian [Lewis] is a legend of the game too,” insisted the world number one.

“For me and Michael to join them in winning the World Cup for England, it really would mean the world to us.

“There’s a chance for us to go on and create our own history. We’re both really up for it, so hopefully everything goes well, because if it does, then we stand a great chance.

“Me and Michael both get along very well, we’re both heavy scorers and most of the time we’re good on our doubles, so if we put that all together, it will take something special to stop us.”

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