Defending champions Chester Boughton Hall have been drawn at home to Port Sunlight in the first round of the Liverpool Echo Invitation Cricket Knockout.
Now in its 42nd season, the competition returns to its regional format with 32 teams starting in four groups of eight.
It will adopt the ECB's Twenty20 playing conditions for the first time with the exception that teams will still be required to wear white clothing and use red balls.
Clubs have the option of playing on any date in a given week and will be required to offer their opponents two dates.
The competition welcomes back old favourites and triple winners Oxton, who have a home tie with New Brighton, while nine times winners Bootle go to Birkenhead St Mary's.
In last year's final, Hall recorded a 161-run triumph at home to Wallasey .
Lancashire’s Jordan Clark knocked 100 for Chester in a second innings total of 205-5 after they had opened with 163-6.
Youngster Harry Killoran took 4-25 as Wallasey were dismissed for 116 and, needing 252 to take the win from their second innings, managed just 91.
It capped a remarkable season for the Filkins Lane club, who won the Cheshire Cup, the Cheshire Twenty20 trophy and the national club Twenty20 competition.