Ryder eyes Black Caps return

2013-10-21 09:18
Jesse Ryder (File)

Wellington - Troubled New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder resumed his cricket career Monday, targeting a return to the Black Caps after a tumultuous year that included a drugs ban and a near-fatal beating.

Ryder linked up with his new domestic team the Otago Volts for the first time after serving a six-month ban for testing positive to banned substances contained in a weight-loss supplement.

He aims to play in the Volts' season opener against his former team Wellington Firebirds next weekend, with the longer-term aim of returning to the New Zealand side for upcoming home series against the West Indies and India.

"My main goal is to push for the Black Caps again," Ryder told Fairfax Media. "All going well, I'd like to push for the West Indies tour.

"But, definitely, the main aim is to try and earn a call-up in time for that Indian tour if they don't pick me for the West Indies tour."

The West Indies play three Tests in New Zealand from December 3 with the Black Caps hosting India in January-February.

Ryder is one of New Zealand's best batting talents, averaging 40.93 in 18 Tests, but his career has been marred by disciplinary lapses, off-field problems and struggles with his fitness.

The 29-year-old went into self-imposed exile from international cricket in February 2012, saying he needed to sort out his personal issues.

He appeared to be making progress and was set to take up a lucrative Indian Premier League contract in March before he was assaulted outside a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch.

Ryder, who witnesses said did nothing to provoke the attack, was put into an induced coma with a fractured skull and said he was fortunate to be alive.

"We've all heard the stories of guys hitting their heads and dying after being punched and falling to the ground," he told Fairfax. "I look back and think I am lucky not to be dead."

Then the doping ban extended his time away from the game, forcing him to train by himself as his new teammates at the Volts prepared for the upcoming season.

The New Zealand Sports Tribunal accepted Ryder was trying to lose weight, not enhance his performance, when he took the over-the-counter supplement, but imposed a ban after finding he should have been more cautious.

Ryder said he felt in good shape, even if there were still some complications linked to the assault.

"The body's pretty good," he said.

"I'm still suffering a little with the head, you know, just some light-headedness. But that's slowly getting better. I've been training hard and everything's coming along really well."

Read more on:    new zealand  |  jesse ryder  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.