Cricket: Ryder dropped again for drinking

By David Leggat

Jesse Ryder has been dumped from today's one-day cricket international against the West Indies at Eden Park and fined after another early morning drinking session.

Last night, New Zealand Cricket said it wanted to help the wayward Wellington left-hander with his alcohol problems, but he had to take a share of responsibility for himself.

Ryder, 24, broke team rules when he went out drinking after Wednesday's win over the West Indies.

It is the second time he has been in trouble after drinking in the early hours while on New Zealand duty.

In Christchurch last February, Ryder, 24, shoved his left hand through a glass window in a bar about 5.30am, badly injuring his index finger.

He subsequently abused hospital staff, then denied he had a drinking problem.

"We're doing what we can but there's a degree to which Jesse also has to take responsibility for this," New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan told the Weekend Herald last night.

"We can't protect him all the time."

Ryder missed a team meeting on Thursday morning, was said to have been in a dishevelled state on the flight to Auckland and did not attend a voluntary practice session that afternoon.

His place in today's team has gone to veteran batsman Mathew Sinclair, but he will be at Eden Park.

Ryder's teammates have asked that he be there and take part in activities including warm-ups and 12th man duties. He will be available for the final one-dayer in Napier on Tuesday.

Vaughan last night said Ryder had breached a team rule that team members had to go out in groups of at least three players.

He left the Wellington hotel on Wednesday night with a group of friends. It was not known what time he came back to the hotel.

"Jesse has had his own individual protocols because obviously it was known he was at high risk, but if a person wants to break those rules hard enough they can," Vaughan said.

At the time, Vaughan talked of the Christchurch incident as being Ryder's last chance.

Last night he said this was "a different scale of incident".

Of his Christchurch assertion that he didn't believe he had a drinking problem, Vaughan said "he is perhaps now able to reflect and get a better perspective. He's very clear, and we're very clear, he does have a significant drinking problem".

Ryder, who has played six tests and 11 one-day internationals, said in a statement that he "thought I had reached the point where I could control my drinking better, but that is obviously not the case.

"I am only now starting to appreciate the size of the challenge that I face."

Vaughan said the other players felt let down by Ryder's behaviour, but were supporting him.

He said some of the protocols set up for Ryder had been eased this season as the team felt he was coming to terms with his drinking and was able to make more of his own decisions on social issues.

"We now understand that was an error. That (decision-making) is impossible for Jesse at the moment," Vaughan said.

It was believed he had been drinking at other times during the one-day series against the West Indies, but NZC's philosophy was to look ahead, not "dig up the past".

"We see him as being a really important part of New Zealand cricket for many years so we want to help him," Vaughan said.

"We don't want to cast him out and say 'when you're fixed come back'. We want to be part of the solution if we can."

- NZ Herald

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