Jesse Ryder's stirring comeback to competitive cricket, in which he scored 117 and 174 in Wellington's five-wicket win over Central Districts in the Plunket Shield last week, was not all rosy. He has been reported for breaching the players' code of conduct during the match and will attend a hearing for the same later this week.
"He has been cited, but the hearing has not been held and there is a 72-hour appeal process, so I can't say any more," New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White was quoted as saying by Fairfax NZ News. Ryder's offence, reportedly, was having words with umpires Evan Watkin and Chris Gaffaney after having an lbw shout off his bowling turned down.
The match was Ryder's first since the end of IPL 2012. In March this year, following an incident during South Africa's tour of New Zealand that he said had diminished his love for cricket, Ryder decided to take an indefinite break from the game to resolve his personal issues. He travelled to India to play in the IPL with a support structure in place, but later agreed with NZC to avoid a national contract till he was ready to commit once again. In July he said he was ready to play for his domestic side, Wellington, and was offered a contract with the team for the season.
Now, despite his fine comeback, he will not rush back into the national team, according to his manager Aaron Klee. "I've already told New Zealand Cricket it's too early," Klee said. "In my opinion it [Ryder's New Zealand return] is not even a discussion [at this point]. Communications have been good. We've worked on a framework and when the time is right, we'll all sit down and talk about it."
Right now, Ryder is still working on getting back into an optimal mental space, Klee said. "It's rebuilding, that's probably the right way to put it. He left [cricket] in a pretty damaged way at the end of last season. He was quite badly affected and it probably did erode his love of the game. That's why this plan is in place and the conservatism around it, so he can have a good solid season of domestic cricket and enjoy himself.
"[But] plans might change. Jesse might wake up one day and have the taste. At that stage we'd still kick the tyres a bit to make sure everything is right and the reasons [for returning to international cricket] are valid."
Klee said it would not be fair to expect Ryder to emerge from his period of 'rebuilding' with a completely new personality though. "Don't think all of a sudden it's all rosy and Jesse's an angel. He's Jesse. People need to start accepting that. He'll make mistakes, he'll have bad headlines but you've got the brilliance as well.
"He's made some massive changes, and maybe we've shaved some of the sharp edges off, but he wears his heart on his sleeve, he's passionate about what he does and he'll put himself in situations where he'll get off side with people. You take the good with the bad. That's just how it is. He's not your typical white collar middle-class cricketer."