New Zealand news March 1, 2016

Ryder meets Hesson, but no talk of NZ comeback

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jesse Ryder was the top scorer for Central Districts in the Ford Trophy © Getty Images

Batsman Jesse Ryder had met with New Zealand coach Mike Hesson following the first Test against Australia in Wellington, but there appears to be no change in the status quo with regard to his possible return to the national side.

Ryder, 31, has not played for New Zealand since January 31, 2014, after he visited a bar along with allrounder Doug Bracewell on the eve of the Auckland Test against India. That incident was the last in a string of alcohol-related discipline issues Ryder had while he was part of the New Zealand set up. His career stands at 18 Tests, 48 ODIs and 22 T20Is at the moment.

"Jesse had a coffee with a few of us while we were in Wellington. We had a good chat and he was able to tell us how things were going in his life and in his cricket," Hesson said in a statement. "We often catch up with players around the country. I don't want to go into any detail of what we talked about but we agreed to keep in touch. We'll see how things go."

It was reported by stuff.co.nz that Ryder had initiated the meeting and that it also included New Zealand players Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, team manager Mike Sandle, and Aaron Klee, who was Ryder's manager until February 2014 and is reported to be working with the batsman again.

Ryder did not feature in the Island of Origin T20 that took place at Basin Reserve in Wellington on February 28. He was the second highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Ford Trophy, New Zealand's domestic one-day competition, making 506 runs at an average of 56 for Central Districts. He scored 62 in the final, which Central Districts won against Canterbury by 156 runs.

Central Districts team manager Lance Hamilton praised the influence Ryder had on the side. "We always knew he was going to score runs but the massive bonus was his contribution in the dressing room. He was awesome," Hamilton said. "When he got 136 in the major semifinal and we were dead and buried, he got out then he was up in the dressing room within 30 seconds telling the boys 'we've got this, come on boys'. It was unreal. Even his contributions in the team meetings, helping the younger guys, the boys all enjoyed having him around.

"After the final the boys were partying in the dressing room for a couple of hours and he was drinking lemonade then he got up and shook everyone's hand and gave them all a hug and jumped in his car and drove back to Wellington."

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