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Hamilton and Painter in Prem

Andy Hamilton and Kevin Painter will make their debuts in the Premier League this year.

World Championship finalist Hamilton and Players Championship winner Painter have been given the two PDC wildcards for the 2012 McCoy's Premier League Darts.

Both players will make their debut in the tournament after Hamilton came off second best only to Adrian Lewis at Alexandra Palace and Painter claimed a first major triumph of his career in Doncaster last month.

Back-to-back world champion Lewis qualifies automatically along with the rest of the PDC's top four - Phil Taylor, James Wade and Gary Anderson - with Simon Whitlock and Raymond van Barneveld given Sky Sports Wildcards.

The eight players were confirmed at the PDC Annual Awards Dinner alongside the announcement of McCoy's as sponsors for the tournament, which begins in Manchester on February 9 and finishes at London's O2 Arena on May 17.

Prize money has risen to a total of 450,000, with 150,000 to the winner.

PDC chairman Barry Hearn said: "I'm delighted to welcome McCoy's as sponsors of what promises to be the best-ever Premier League Darts.

"The form of Andy Hamilton and Kevin Painter recently has seen them earn deserved Wildcards to play in the McCoy's Premier League, and I'm sure they will add great colour and quality to the tournament.

"Simon Whitlock was sensational in reaching the World Championship semi-finals and Raymond van Barneveld remains one of the most popular players throughout the darts world.

"With Gary Anderson defending his title, Adrian Lewis coming into the tournament as a two-time world champion and Phil Taylor and James Wade looking to win back the Premier League trophy, we're all hugely excited ahead of the tournament starting in Manchester next month."