Contracted NSW players have been given the green light to return to McDonald's Men's NSW Premier Cricket on Saturday after gaining a medical clearance following their recent stint in Adelaide.
Cricket Australia's chief medical officer, Dr John Orchard, approved the return of nine Blues players to their club sides for "outside contact" following a Covid scare in South Australia this week.
The bulk of the NSW squad arrived back in Sydney just over a week ago after the completion of their Sheffield Shield commitments in Adelaide.
Dr Orchard said: "The medical panel has approved that outdoor contact (e.g. being on a cricket field for a match, presumably without touching another player) is now safe, but indoor contact should be avoided until November 26.
"Therefore NSW players ex-Adelaide can participate in Premier Cricket this weekend so long as they do not go into a change room with a player who was not in Adelaide."
The decision means the following Blues players - Peter Nevill (Eastern Suburbs), Henry Conway (Eastern Suburbs), Trent Copeland (St George), Matthew Gilkes (UNSW), Daniel Hughes (Mosman), Nick Larkin (Sutherland), Kurtis Patterson (St George), Tanveer Sangha (Campbelltown-Camden) and Daniel Solway (Bankstown) – can turn out for their clubs on day two of round six matches.
Four teams – Easts, St George, Northern District and UNSW – start the day looking to rope in 300-plus totals.
UNSW has the biggest challenge, needing 400 to overhaul Sydney's massive first innings total at David Phillips Field.
But they do have three trumps up their sleeve in returning representative trio Gilkes, Dan Christian and Chris Tremain.
Gilkes scored a double century in his last innings for the Bumble Bees.
"The task in isolation probably isn't as daunting as would probably seem at most grounds," skipper Brandon McLean said.
"It's flat, it's small and very, very batter friendly (at David Phillips).
"Four hundred is a lot to chase but if there's a day to do it, it's probably the day you've got Gilkes, Christian and Tremain in your side."
Competition leader Manly-Warringah already has first innings points secured against Randwick-Petersham and will push for outright victory at Manly Oval.
The Waratahs resume day two at 5-230 – a 132-run lead.
Fairfield-Liverpool has nine wickets in hand and is just 31 runs away from overhauling Blacktown's 158.
And Gordon is 3-122 in reply to Parramatta's 168.
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*matches with a triangle next to IN PROGRESS in the top righthand corner are live streamed.