Australia are the defending champions of the World Cup of Darts, their first ever title ©PDC

The annual World Cup of Darts is set to expand from 32 to 40 teams, featuring a revamp of the format which includes a group stage and doubles matches as the tournament is set to be held at the Eissporthalle Arena in Frankfurt.

The winners of the tournament will also receive a £450,000 ($550,000/€510,000) prize fund.

The expansion has also allowed countries such as Bahrain, Iceland and Ukraine to compete in the competition for the first time.

The four highest-ranked teams based on the lowest cumulative Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) Order of Merit ranking of the two players competing, will enter the second-round stage right away and will be seeded.

The other 36 teams will be placed in 12 groups of three in a round-robin first round with each group winner advancing to the second round.

The previous format was just an elimination tournament, with eight seeded teams and 24 unseeded.

This year's format will also feature only doubles, while the previous editions had singles and doubles.

The current defending champions are Australia, with the duo of Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta defeating Welsh pair Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton 3-1 to win the 2022 finals.

Matt Porter, the PDC chief executive, says he hopes the new format will add to the excitement.

"The World Cup of Darts is one of our most popular events and this new format will add extra excitement to an already eagerly-awaited four days," said Porter.

The World Cup of Darts will feature 40 teams instead of the usual 32 ©Getty Images
The World Cup of Darts will feature 40 teams instead of the usual 32 ©Getty Images

"The nations competing in the group stage will now be guaranteed a minimum of two matches, increasing their big-stage experience, and our global growth is also represented by being able to introduce new countries and stage a Latin America qualifier.

"The move to feature doubles matches throughout the World Cup is another big change to previous years but one we felt was right to introduce alongside the group stage to emphasise the team element of the event.

"This new format is an important development for us in continuing to grow professional darts around the world and we look forward to a wonderful World Cup of Darts in June."

Qualifiers are still set to take place before the event, with the Latin American qualifier from May 12 to 14 involving teams such as Brazil, Costa Rica and Guyana competing for only one spot in the World Cup.

Portugal will be holding a qualifier on April 1 to determine the partner for Jose de Sousa.

The 2023 World Cup of Darts is due to take place from June 15 to 18, with the representatives on each team being confirmed by May 29.