The William Hill World Darts Championship has announced the 2018/19 tournament will include two women as part of an expansion.

The competition, staged at London's Alexandra Palace, will expand from 72 competitors to 96, with two females coming through qualifying.

The champion's prize will also increase to a record-breaking £500,000 as part of an overall fund of £2.5million.

Professional Darts Corporation chairman Barry Hearn said: "The William Hill World Darts Championship has become a phenomenon in worldwide sport given its incredible growth in recent years, but this announcement takes the tournament to a whole new level."

The introduction of the two women competitors is particularly pertinent following the PDC's decision to remove walk-on girls in January.

Hearn added: "Moving to 96 players will not only reward more players from our ProTour, with 32 qualifiers joining the world's top 32 players in securing places in the World Championship, but also gives us the opportunity to expand the international qualifiers.

"We also felt that it was important to guarantee two places for female players, which will go to qualifiers from the UK and Rest of the World."