Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, has decided to take an indefinite break from cricket to resolve some personal issues after a "deeply stressful and emotional time". His manager Aaron Klee released a statement on Thursday saying Ryder had pulled out of Wellington's squad for their next Plunket Shield match, against Northern Districts starting Friday, and had not decided when he would make himself available again.
Ryder had been training with the Wellington squad but has withdrawn from the team after a joint decision by him, Klee, Karen Nimmo - the clinical psychologist he works with - and New Zealand Cricket Players Association chief executive Heath Mills.
"We hope that Jesse will be available for Wellington selection again in the coming weeks, but it would be imprudent of me to try and put an exact date on this," Klee said.
Ryder was dropped from New Zealand's squad for the third one-day international against South Africa after he and teammate Doug Bracewell broke team protocol by going out at night when injured and getting involved in an argument with someone at a hotel. Ryder had returned for the series against South Africa after a two-month layoff due to a calf injury and split the webbing in his hand during the second ODI, in Napier, after which he, Bracewell and Tharun Nethula went to a hotel.
New Zealand coach John Wright said after the incident that Ryder, who has had several problems with discipline before, was testing his patience, while Brendon McCullum, who captained New Zealand in the ODI series, said the team were disappointed that Ryder had gone out after a heavy loss. Ryder was also left out for the Tests against South Africa due to form.
Klee said Ryder's return to the New Zealand setup had perhaps been too rushed, and that being in the public eye had taken a toll on Ryder. "There were some pretty stressful times for him. We are not dealing with this from a professional perspective as a cricketer; this is all about Jesse as a person. That is my total focus as his manager and as his friend."
Ryder had also faced criticism earlier in the series against South Africa, when former New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan called his performance in the third Twenty20 against South Africa "selfish" and the reason for New Zealand's loss in a match they were on course to win. Ryder had taken seven deliveries to get from 49 to 50 and New Zealand ended up losing after needing 17 to win off four overs.
Klee admitted that criticism had hurt Ryder. "That criticism would hurt anyone. He wasn't just questioning Jesse's batting, he was questioning his integrity."
Edited by Dustin Silgardo