New Zealand opener Jesse Ryder has withdrawn from the A team's tour to the UAE due to personal reasons. While New Zealand Cricket did not specify what those reasons were, and said it respected Ryder's decision, this pullout will have the board pondering whether he can make it back to top-flight cricket in time for February's World Cup.
Ryder has been sidelined due to off-field issues several times in the last three years. He was dropped for disciplinary issues during the one-day series against South Africa in February 2012, before having to serve a six-month suspension for taking banned stimulants - a period which coincided with his recovery from a serious assault he suffered in Christchurch in March 2013. He was recalled for the home series against West Indies in December, but, again, was dropped two months later for staying out late at an Auckland bar on the eve of a Test against India. When he was picked for the New Zealand A squad, after showing signs of being back to his explosive best for Essex and Otago, it was seen as a step towards a recall for the World Cup.
NZC's general manager, national selection, Bruce Edgar said Ryder had made the decision after meeting with Otago Volts officials in Dunedin. Ryder had not played Volts' last game, against Canterbury in Christchurch on Sunday.
"NZC respects Jesse's decision and is currently considering options for a replacement," Edgar said. The New Zealand A squad leaves for the UAE on Wednesday evening, for a series of one-day games.