Jesse Ryder has dropped out of Wellington's side to play Northern Districts today as he spends time away from cricket following his axing from the New Zealand side last week for disciplinary reasons.
Ryder and Doug Bracewell broke team protocol when they went drinking after New Zealand's second one-day international despite the fact they were injured and were both handed a one-match ban. Injured players are not allowed to drink between games.
Ryder was also omitted from the side to play South Africa in the first test, which started in Dunedin yesterday.
Coach John Wright admitted he was losing patience with Ryder, who has been involved a number of alcohol-related incidents.
Ryder was due to play for the Firebirds in their Plunket Shield match starting in Wellington today, but requested leave from the match.
Cricket Wellington chief executive Peter Clinton said Ryder and his management requested the leave for the player to have some time away from top-level cricket, to concentrate on his wellbeing.
"It's no secret that Jesse's had a rough past fortnight, and the advice from professionals associated with his care is that he's just not in the right frame of mind for first-class cricket," Clinton said.
"We're very aware of the pressures that Jesse is under, and we support him taking a break if that's what's required to help him through this. We'll assist his return to the park when he's ready to go, and not rush him beforehand.
"While Jesse is a professional athlete and understands he has certain obligations to the fans, media and public, we'd ask that everyone gives him a little space now so that he can concentrate fully on getting himself ready again for professional cricket."
Ryder's manager Aaron Klee confirmed the decision to request leave from cricket was made between Ryder, himself, players' association boss Heath Mills and Ryder's clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo.