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August 8, 2010
New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has said that he feared for his career while New Zealand Cricket was investigating his latest incident of misconduct - "intoxicated and rowdy" behaviour at a hotel during an indoor cricket tournament in the first week of July. NZC fined Ryder but warned that another incident, in addition to several in the past, would have more serious consequences.
"It went on for quite a while as New Zealand Cricket was investigating what actually happened," Ryder told Sunday News. "I was actually thinking that this could have been it for me. But luckily they've given me one last chance.
"Now I know that I have to keep my head down, keep training hard and force my way back in the side. This is pretty much a wakeup call for me. I just have to stay home now and try and stay away from all the off-field distractions so I don't get in trouble out in public. I'm pretty desperate to stay on the right track and be a Black Cap [New Zealand player]."
Ryder said he had apologised to the hotel for his behaviour after a noise complaint was lodged with the board but Geoff Allott, NZC's general manger of cricket, said the matter was viewed "very seriously".
"The simple answer is that if the same thing happened again in the same circumstances, then yes [his contract would be in danger]," Allott said. "Circumstances, I would say, have to be considered but if something similar happened again, Jesse knows the consequences. He has got some extra parameters outside the other 19 contracted players and he's accepted that. There's some clarity now around instances, particularly involving alcohol and that's important."
Heath Mills, the head of the New Zealand players' association, said NZC was doing what it could to back Ryder. "They are remaining relatively firm but aren't going to support any further instance of alcohol-related misconduct. If that happens again, their support will not be what it has been. The one person who suffers the most here is Jesse. It means fewer opportunities for him to score runs, take wickets or earn income.
"The shame of it is Jesse has been making some genuine gains, training hard and getting fitter. He just has to be responsible for his actions. The trouble is those who hang out with him also need to take some responsibility and reflect on their roles in his life."
The most serious of Ryder's indiscretions came in 2008 when he put his right hand through a glass window during a late-night session at a Christchurch bar. Early last year he gave up alcohol after another incident. Ryder is presently out of the New Zealand side because of fitness reasons and will miss the tri-series in Sri Lanka, though he is expected to be fit for the tour of Bangladesh that follows.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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