The Lancashire League will soon take it’s place alongside some of the top amateur setups in the country, according to Burnley captain Dan Pickup.
With the league breaking from its traditional 14-team structure, welcoming 10 new teams in to the fold over the last couple of campaigns, the competition has been cranked up significantly.
Clitheroe were newcomers when crowned champions last season, adding the Twenty20 trophy to their treasure trove in the process, while runners up Darwen won the Worsley Cup.
And a similar pattern has emerged this term with Walsden, one of several teams to move over from the Central Lancashire League, winning all 10 games to date to take over at the top.
“The standard of the league has been driven up,” said the Turf Moor captain. “There are some good sides that have come in over the last couple of years.
“With the way the top half is looking it’s already making for a good standard of cricket and the competition has increased.
“Once it divides the top division will stand up there with some of the best amateur leagues in the country.
“It will be really strong. That’s exactly what the league wanted when they planned it. It’s looking really promising.
“There’s going to be a lot to play for going forward after this season. Good sides will end up getting dragged in to relegation battles. It all looks good for the future of the league.”
Pickup is pleased with the way his side are performing at present and the aim is to keep piling the pressure on the table toppers.
“We’ve played some pretty good cricket,” he said. “Walsden are just enjoying a stellar season. We’d be there or thereabouts, possibly even top, any other season.”