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Brock bids farewell

Brock Price will bring down the curtain on his rep cricket career. PHOTO/FILE

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Brock Price will play his last representative game for Highmark Homes Wairarapa in this weekend’s Furlong Cup match against Taranaki at the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval.

Price had planned to move to Australia with his fiancee Dominique at the conclusion of the 2019-20 cricket season, but that was put on hold with the onset of the covid-19 pandemic.

The 32-year-old has been in good form for Burger King Red Star in the first two games of the Coastal Challenge, scoring 76 and 53 not out, and coach Neil Perry expected a strong showing from the dual cricket-rugby representative in his swansong.

“Brock has been a very important member of Wairarapa sport, not just Wairarapa cricket for a long time,” Perry said.

“He has got a tremendous amount of skill, and he’s just grown and grown as a player and as a person in the last five or six years that I have known him. It’s been a pleasure to know him and to work with him, and he’ll be missed.

“Brock is determined to put on a really good show to make sure he goes and gets on that plane to Aussie with a big smile on his face and with really happy memories.”

Scoring in the two-day match could prove difficult though, with the Oval pitch looking a typical early season one with good grass cover suited to the seam bowlers.

Neil Perry

Perry and his selection panel have accordingly named a five-pronged seam attack led by fringe Central Stags bowler Stefan Hook, along with Ethan Childs, Gus Borren, and Peter Sigvertsen, who has thrived in early season conditions in the past, while captain Gordon Reisima can also chip in with his medium pacers.

Former Under-19 international Andy Dodd provides the spin option in the absence of left-arm spinner Quinn Childs, who is unavailable with university exams.

“It’s been wet, and the pitch is going to be an early-season wicket I’m guessing,” Perry said.

“The weather forecast is not overly flash for the weekend, but we can’t do anything about that either, so we’ll just take it as it comes and play good cricket.

“If we play to the conditions we won’t go far wrong.”

The batting lineup looks one of the strongest fielded by Wairarapa in several seasons.

The right-left combination of John McKenzie and Robbie Anderson will open the batting, followed by Jared van Deventer at first drop, and Price, Dodd, Jaco Vorster, and wicketkeeper Jack Forrester in
the middle order.

Perry said there was plenty of depth in the squad, but that would be needed with the likelihood of injuries and unavailabilities throughout the season.

Wairarapa finished the 2019-20 Furlong Cup, which doubles as the Zone Two Hawke Cup elimination series, on a high, with first innings victories over Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay for a fourth place.

Perry said those results had come with a lot of hard work and he expected the team to continue to improve this season.

“Already in terms of things like attention to detail with training, focus at training, intensity, and the way people are thinking about the game, I’ve just seen massive improvements in everybody.

“We’re just really excited about getting out there and playing good cricket.

“I’m confident that we’re growing as a unit, that the skills that everybody has are growing, and the competition for places is growing.”

“We have strong values around how we perform. But if we start getting ahead of ourselves and thinking about the outcome, then we won’t have our mind and body on what’s important.

“So, if we keep making those good decisions on what we need to do now to win cricket games, then that’s our best chance of performing well, and then the results will look after themselves

Play is scheduled to start at the Oval at 10.30am today and tomorrow.

Wairarapa team:

Gordon Reisima [captain], John McKenzie, Robbie Anderson, Jared van Deventer, Brock Price, Andy Dodd, Jaco Vorster, Jack Forrester [wk], Ethan Childs, Gus Borren, Stefan Hook, Peter Sigvertsen.

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