Editorial: Ryder attack cowardly

By Greg Taipari

Sickening and cowardly are the only ways to describe what happened to Black Caps batsman Jesse Ryder.

Ryder was bashed outside a Christchurch bar on Wednesday night last week and suffered a fractured skull and punctured lung.

The cricketer was left in a critical condition but is now recovering at home.

A talented cricketer, Ryder's career has been checkered with off-field incidents with alcohol a major contributor, which meant the 28-year-old was in the glare of the media for all the wrong reasons.

Rotorua-based The Daily Post, sister paper of the Bay of Plenty Times, broke the news on Ryder's last off-field episode in a Napier bar last year, when he broke team protocols on drinking alcohol while recovering from an injury.

Ryder became embroiled in a shouting match with two Rotorua businessmen in a bar after an ODI match against South Africa.

At the time I was critical of the sportsman saying he shouldn't have got himself into this type of situation.

The story went global and it seemed Ryder's international cricketing career may have come to an end.

However, Ryder appeared to turn his life around after a self-imposed exile from alcohol and international cricket.

The talented batsman even jumped into the boxing ring for Fight for Life. I got to meet Ryder after his bout, I introduced myself and told him I was the journalist who broke the story.

Ryder was polite, professional and had no resentment at all. In fact he said, "mate, you're just doing your job".

We talked for a while and I guess I got a small glimpse into his world.

During those few minutes we talked, people came up to him - some were good natured others felt it was their right to just come up to him and harass him.

He either shook the person's hand or ignored the jibe.

The two men accused of attacking him yesterday appeared in court and were given interim name suppression.

My thoughts go out to Ryder, his family and friends.

I wish him a speedy recovery and hope we get to see his talent back on the cricket pitch.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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