History of Victorian Premier Cricket
Commencement of Pennant Matches
12 clubs (Carlton, East Melbourne, Essendon, Fitzroy, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne, University & Williamstown) played eight (8) matches in the inaugural season. Over time, the unevenness of the competition caused issues.
Promotion/Relegation saw several issues in it's short history, with the decision to separate the two grades as District and Sub-District. The result was 13 clubs in District (Northcote having been promoted for 1907/08 with a bye in place) and 8 clubs in Sub-District.
Commencement of District Cricket
12 clubs (Carlton, Collingwood (brand new club), East Melbourne, Essendon, Fitzroy Hawksburn (now known as Prahran), Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne & University) contested the inaugural District Cricket season in two grades, with promotion/relegation in place. Melbourne did not accept the residential qualification rules and were deemed ineligible to win the Premiership until the 1914/15 season!
1915/16 to 1918/19
World War 1
The Premiership Competition was suspended due to World War 1. Matches were still played during this time, but no official title of Premiers were awarded.
East Melbourne merge with Hawthorn
East Melbourne merges with Hawthorn in 1921 to become Hawthorn-East Melbourne (or colloquially known as 'The Combine') due to the former losing their ground due to an expansion of the Railway System in Melbourne.
1940/41 to 1944/45
World War 2
The Premiership Competition was suspended due to World War 2. Matches were still played during this time, but no official title of Premiers were awarded. In the 1942/43 & 1943/44 seasons, matches were reduced to One Day duration due to the difficulty of players obtaining leave.
VCA Colts Remove the Bye
The VCA Colts Team was formed this season to remove the Bye that had hampered the competition since 1907. This team played until the end of the 1939/40 season, where it was disbanded due to World War 2.
Footscray enters the ranks
Footscray are admitted to District Cricket in 1948/49, removing the 'Bye' matches played between the District and Sub-District clubs that had the Bye each round between 1940/41 and 1947/48.
Ringwood and Waverley join the party
District Cricket expands from 14 to 16 clubs with the inclusion of Ringwood and Waverley (now Dandenong) clubs from the Sub-District ranks.
Mergers in District Cricket
Two Mergers took place for this season, with Fitzroy merging with Doncaster to become Fitzroy Doncaster and North Melbourne merged with Geelong to become North Melbourne-Geelong. The former partnership is still strong today, whilst the latter was to last for only three (3) seasons, ending after the 1987/88 season.
Another season, another merger
Waverley merged with Dandenong in this season and moved base to Shepley Oval. Over the next 5 seasons, the name of the club changed name several times before officially becoming Dandenong ahead of the 1994/95 season.
Hawthorn-East Melbourne became Hawthorn in 1989 after moving to Glen Waverley and became Hawthorn-Waverley in 1994.
Residential Zoning abandoned
The decision was made to remove residential zoning in 1990, ending 83 years of the competition structure and enabling the competition to now be known as Victorian Premier Cricket.
Geelong and Frankston Peninsula are admitted to the competition from Sub-District ranks, expanding the reach of the competition and the number of clubs to 18.
Hawks on the move again
Hawthorn-Waverley merges with Sub-District Club Monash University to become Hawthorn-Monash University. This merger was to last 14 seasons before a loss of grounds forces the Hawks to seek alternate pastures.
Magpies fly the nest
Collingwood merges with Sub-District Club Camberwell to become the Camberwell Magpies after the former is forced away from their 'spiritual home' Victoria Park.
Kangaroos find a new paddock
North Melbourne merges with Greenvale to become the Greenvale Kangaroos. The club also has access to a new facility and grounds at Greenvale Reserve.
Women's Cricket now in Premier Cricket
Integration of the Victorian Women's Cricket Association (VWCA) into Cricket Victoria is signed off, keeping the Women's game active since their formation in 1923/24. The inaugural clubs in Women's Premier 1st XI in season 2014/15 are Box Hill, Dandenong Women's, Essendon Maribyrnong Park, Melbourne, Plenty Valley and Prahran.
CV Pennant Committee disbands
The CV Delegates pass motion to enable transition of the management of the Victorian Premier Cricket competition to Cricket Victoria from the long-standing CV Pennant Committee. These operations are now run by the Premier Cricket Department.
Hawks in another merger
Hawthorn-Monash University merges with Sub-District Club Kingston Saints due to loss of grounds at Monash University to become Kingston Hawthorn. The new club is based out of Walter Galt Reserve in Parkdale.
2018 to 2023
Women's Premier Cricket expands
Women's Premier Cricket expands with the inclusion of Carlton-Brunswick (now Carlton) and Ringwood to the Women's 1st XI competition for the 2018/19 season. Further expansion is approved in 2021 with the inclusion of Geelong and 2022 with the Greenvale Kangaroos to Women's Premier Cricket. Geelong earns promotion to the Women's 1st XI competition for season 2023/24 after passing probation.