Jesse Ryder has dropped out of Wellington's side to play Northern Districts tomorrow as he spends time away from cricket following his axing from the New Zeland 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 tomorrow, 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 a collective one between Ryder, himself, players' association boss Heath Mills and Ryder's clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo.
"We approached Peter Clinton when it became clear that Jesse needed some time out to address some personal issues,'' Klee said.
"Peter and Cricket Wellington have kindly given their full support and we are very appreciative of them for this.
"This is not a decision made lightly. We are not dealing with this from a professional perspective as a cricketer, this is all about Jesse as a person. That is my total focus as his manager, and as his friend.
"This is a deeply stressful and emotional time for Jesse and those of us close to him. We would truly appreciate the time and space necessary to work through this period.
"We hope that Jesse will be available for Firebirds selection again in the coming weeks, but it would be imprudent of me to try and put an exact date on this.''
Ms Nimmo said that, while she fully supported Ryder taking a break from the game, she was bound by confidentiality and couldn't disclose specifics about the issues he is facing.
"He's acknowledged his difficulties at a time of significant personal stress. Professional sport is a tough place to be because it's about enduring huge stress on a very public stage. We hope to have Jesse back in the game as soon as possible.''
Mills said it was important Ryder took some time out from the game to focus on his health and wellbeing.
"It is well documented that Jesse has some personal and health issues that are an ongoing challenge for him. Unfortunately the events of the last few weeks around his performance in international cricket, coupled with repercussions as a result of an instance of poor decision making, have been a significant setback.''
"At this time he needs to take a break from cricket to focus on his health and wellbeing.''
"Jesse is very fortunate to have great support from many people who are working to help him, including Cricket Wellington and New Zealand Cricket. We hope that this support, and Jesse's determination, will see him back playing cricket soon,'' said Mills.