Newcastle representative coach Shane Burley is backing suspended captain Nathan Price to return to the first XI for Sunday’s all-important third and final round of the NSW Country Championships.
Burley and selectors have opted to get the all-rounder back in the mix against hosts and title holders the Central Coast with a spot in the November 17 decider possibly up for grabs.
Price’s four-match ban for dissent ends after day two, which leaves him unavailable against North Coast and Central North on Friday and Saturday respectively.
“Definitely [it’ll be good to have him back],” Burley said.
Price has already been sidelined for Wallsend’s club win over City on Saturday and Newcastle’s one-off T20 fixture against the ACT at Manuka Oval last week.
He had been allowed to take the field the weekend prior, for both Wallsend and Newcastle, with Country Cricket NSW unable to hear the matter until October 21.
Umpire Kim Norris put Price on report after the Newcastle Blasters lost to the Lake Mac Attack in the T20 Regional Bash opener at Waratah Oval on October 13.
Meanwhile, former state left-arm spinner Anthony Kershler was announced on Wednesday as NSW Country coach for 2019-2020. North Coast-based Kershler, who took over 700 first grade wickets in Sydney, replaces Jeff Cook in the role for the national championships in Toowoomba in January.