Brief HistoryAlthough many of the district's clubs had met regularly as far back as 1850, or earlier, it was not until 1892 that a Liverpool newspaper began publishing a weekly table and calling it the Liverpool Competition in order to create more interest in the game.
The eleven senior clubs making up the original table were Birkenhead Park, Bootle, Formby, Huyton, Liverpool, New Brighton, Northern, Ormskirk, Oxton, Rock Ferry and Sefton.
Neston were offered first team fixtures in 1908 and, in 1919, Hightown and Southport and Birkdale joined whilst Wallasey took over the fixtures of the Rock Ferry club who did not resume after the First War. Boughton Hall (not then known as Chester) were invited to join in 1923.
The Competition continued until 1947 when it was decided to admit a sixteenth club and Preston were voted in. Two years later, fixtures were standardised by all clubs agreeing to meet each other, and although there was no suggestion of a league, it was decided to regard the table as official.
Preston resigned at the end of the 1952 season to be replaced by St. Helens Recs in 1953.
The Competition remained in this format until 1996 when an expansion programme began with the election of seven clubs - Colwyn Bay, Marchwiel and Northop Hall from North Wales and Leigh, Newton le Willows, St. Helens and Wigan from the Manchester Association.
The Association suffered further when Bolton and Worsley were admitted in 1997. Widnes were elected as Associate Members to play third eleven cricket. At the end of the 1997 season, founder members Birkenhead Park, Chester Boughton Hall, Neston and Oxton resigned to join the Cheshire County League.
Manchester Association champions, Lytham were elected in 1998, Oxton were elected as Associate Members, Sefton were renamed Sefton Park, Marchwiel resigned and Widnes were renamed Widnes Birchfield.
The top 12 in the 1st and 2nd XI tables at the end of the 1998 season were to form the new Premier Divisions the following season with the remainder in the First Divisions.
In 1999, the Competition was extended to 24 Full Member clubs with the admission of Fleetwood Hesketh, Maghull and Orrell Red Triangle from the Southport League. History was created this season with the formation of a two division system, 2 up and 2 down, at 1st and 2nd XI level. Widnes Birchfield became Birchfield Park.
Merseyside Competition champions, Caldy, were elected in 2000 to play in the First Division. Southport and District Amateur League side Highfield were similarly elected in 2001.
In March 2000, the 1st XI Premier Division was granted 'ECB Premier League' status and became known as 'ECB Premier League'.
1st XI matches start at 1:00 pm (12:00 noon in late August and September) with the last 20 overs beginning at 6:45 pm (5:45 pm in late August and September) thus allowing for the required ECB minimum of 110 overs at a bowling rate of 17 overs per hour.
Lancashire County Cricket Club use Liverpool, Lytham and Southport and Birkdale as out grounds for 1st class matches as does Glamorgan County Cricket Club with Colwyn Bay. Other grounds, are regularly used for Lancashire 2nd XI and Minor County (Cheshire and Wales MC) matches.
In season 2001, Liverpool Cricket Club staged three Benson and Hedges Knockout games at its Aigburth ground where Lancashire played host to Durham (Tuesday May 1st), Derbyshire (Friday May 4th) and Yorkshire (Sunday May 6th). It was the first time that Yorkshire had played there in a first class related match since 1957.
Bolton resigned at the end of the 2001 season. Southport and District Amateur League side Haydock were elected and took their place in the First Division in 2002.
With the feeder league system taking effect at the end of the 2004 season, Haydock, bottom team in the First Division, were relegated to the Merseyside and Southport Cricket Alliance with their champions, Ainsdale, moving in the opposite direction.
From the end of the 2005 season, a 'two down, two up' system began between the Liverpool Competition and the Merseyside and Southport Cricket Alliance, provided that the teams being promoted meet the Liverpool Competition criteria and that they want to be promoted in the first place.
Caldy and Worsley were relegated to the Merseyside and Southport Cricket Alliance with Prestatyn and Southport Trinity moving in the opposite direction into the L&DCC First Division for 2006.
The ECB Premier League increased to 14 in 2007. Rainhill and Wavertree were promoted from the Merseyside Alliance into the L&DCC First Division.