Telford's Ted Hankey returns to the BDO
Telford's Ted Hankey today rejoined the BDO two years after the former world champion made a bitter defection to the PDC in controversial circumstances.
'The Count' made the switch after the BDO World Championships in 2012, amid claims he refused to play his semi-final defeat to Christian Kist at Lakeside.
BDO rules had stated that the last four in the World Championships must stay with the organisation for a year or pay back their winnings from the event.
There were allegations that the 45-year-old, who lives in Aqueduct, ordered the regulation be lifted two hours before his match was due to appear on the BBC.
Now, after an uneventful spell elsewhere, Hankey has done a U-turn and gone back to the BDO, withdrawing his application to go to the PDC's 'Q School.'
His two-year PDC 'licence' has expired, so he would have had to go through the three-day qualifying event, which starts tomorrow, to stay on the Pro Tour.
He said: "I have had two very enjoyable years at the PDC and I would like to thank Barry Hearn and everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to play on their tour.
"However, something just didn't feel quite right and the penny dropped when I watched the opening game of the Lakeside this year. I really missed playing on the BDO circuit.
"It has been said time and again, but it's a true family atmosphere and I miss everything about it. I genuinely feel that the BDO offers the best opportunities for me."
Hankey, who won the BDO world title in 2000 and 2009, will make his return to the oche under their banner at the World Trophy, staged next month at the Blackpool Tower.
With no BDO ranking points, he will have to qualify to make the televised rounds, which will be screened on Euro Sport. His 180-day ban for leaving them has already expired.
Hankey will still be able to play at the PDC's Grand Slam at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in November, too, as BDO World Championship semi-finalists are guaranteed spots for two years.
He said: "I am really starting to play some of the best darts of my life on the practice board and I just need to translate this form to match play.
"I know I can beat anyone on my day and, if I can just get the consistency back, I have a good chance of picking up a major trophy this year.
"The one I really want to win is the Winmau World Masters, as it's notoriously one of the hardest events to win and Winmau are my main sponsors.
"They have been so good to me and stood by me through thick and thin. It would be nice to reward them by winning their tournament for the first time."
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