Jesse Ryder will make his return to cricket by playing in the IPL with the Pune Warriors starting in early April.
The 27-year-old took a break from the game after he and Doug Bracewell were axed from the New Zealand side for drinking while nursing injuries during the one-day international phase of the recent South African tour.
Ryder hasn't played cricket since the second ODI against South Africa on February 29. He was due to play for Wellington after his axing from the New Zealand side but withdrew on the eve of the Plunket Shield game for what his manager Aaron Klee described as "a deeply stressful and emotional time''.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said playing cricket was always going to be an important element in Ryder's return to full health and fitness, and the IPL offered him that chance.
"It's really positive that Jesse has reached the point where here is ready to play competitive cricket again,'' White said. "He has clear expectations from NZC in terms of what is required from him to make a return to international cricket and playing in the IPL is a good first step.
"We are proud of the progress he has made and we will continue to support him through what has been a tough time.''
Ryder is into the second year of his US$150,000 (NZ$183,000) a season contract with the Warriors and he will face challenges there. The IPL is renowned for its after-parties and over-the-top entertainment.
Ryder, however, will have the support of Klee and clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo while in India.
"Jesse has been making steady progress over the past few weeks,'' Nimmo said. "While the IPL has clear challenges, and is a big step, I believe he's ready to take it.
"Cricket is Jesse's job and what he's good at, so I was keen to see him return to the game as soon as practical, but only with the right structures in place.''
Klee has prepared a comprehensive support structure and has received the full support of management at the Pune Warriors.
"Karen is travelling to India the day after Jesse and will continue her work with him there, while I'll be going over a little later to carry that work on,'' said Klee.
"The extent and expense Jesse is going to in getting this right is significant. The IPL presents challenges and opportunities - no stone is being left unturned in our planning.
"The franchise has been wonderful and Jesse is desperate to perform on and off the field, and get his career back on track.''
Ryder's first chance to make an international return is for the tour of the West Indies starting in late June but coach John Wright has admitted he is losing patience with a player who has regularly transgressed off the field.''