Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, has smashed 136 off 57 balls for Otago against an Ireland XI in Lincoln a few days after he met with national coach Mike Hesson, who reiterated that nothing had changed with respect to the conditions for Ryder's return to the New Zealand side ahead of the 2015 World Cup. Ryder hit eight sixes and 18 fours in an innings that drove Otago to victory with 109 balls to spare.
Ryder has not played for New Zealand since the ODI series against India in January this year. He was dropped from the second Test of that tour for staying out late at an Auckland bar, the latest in a series of disciplinary issues involving him. He spent the English summer playing for county cricket for Essex and scored 369 runs at an average of 92.25 and strike rate of 122 in six List A innings. The innings against Ireland XI was his second after returning to New Zealand; he made 9 against Scotland on October 22.
''It was nice to meet Jesse and see how he's tracking, and Brendon [McCullum] had a chat to him the other day," Hesson had told Dominion Post. "We're just talking. We always know Jesse is going to score runs - that's not the point. We obviously need all our players to be desperately keen to play for New Zealand. It's a huge event for us, this World Cup, and that's something we will keep pretty true to.
''There's no doubt he's got ground to make up. Everyone's well aware of that. The only way we can make that up is by talking and making everyone extremely clear about expectations. The door is never closed, the NZ XI side to Dubai will get picked at the end of the month and we'll see what happens. He [Ryder] is in the frame along with everybody else.''
New Zealand are presently trailing 0-1 in the three-match home series against South Africa. In the absence of the injured Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, their batting line-up struggled to post a competitive score in the first game in Mount Maunganui. Following this series, New Zealand will travel to the UAE to play Pakistan in their build-up to the 2015 World Cup.