Cricket: Ryder returns to Black Caps

By David Leggat

Jesse Ryder has returned to international cricket after being named in New Zealand's ODI squad to play the West Indies. Photo / Getty
Jesse Ryder has returned to international cricket after being named in New Zealand's ODI squad to play the West Indies. Photo / Getty

Jesse Ryder is back in the New Zealand ODI team for their five-game series against the West Indies starting at Eden Park on Boxing Day.

Ryder has been absent from the national team for two years, during which time he was assaulted outside a Christchurch bar and suffered a six-month ban for a positive drug test.

There was speculation on whether the controversial but gifted lefthander would ever make it back to the New Zealand side.

However he shifted south from Wellington to Otago for the current domestic season and it seems to have agreed with him.

''He's in great form and he's in a great space," national selection manager Bruce Edgar said.

''Go back a number of months and it could have been the end of his career. He's come back with a vengeance and wants to play well and play for the Black Caps."

Former test opener Edgar has seen him bat twice in Plunket Shield games and likes what he has seen.

He denied Boxing Day was a specific comeback target for Ryder.

''We weren't sure, but it was just a matter of his form and feeling comfortable with where he's at," he said.

Edgar is comfortable with the support that will be around Ryder - who has had troubled episodes involving alcohol in the past - within the team environment.

Martin Guptill is back after missing the last two tours to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka due to injury.

Seamer Tim Southee is missing from the first two games due to having treatment for an injury to a big toe next Tuesday.

He is expected to return for the third game in the series at Queenstown on New Years Day.

The New Zealand ODI squad for the five-game series against the West Indies, starting at Eden Park on Boxing Day:

Brendon McCullum (c), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne.

- NZ Herald

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