Blow for Black Caps as Jesse Ryder opts to continue his exile


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The Independent Online

The New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has confirmed he will continue his self-imposed international exile by ruling himself out of the forthcoming tour by England.

Ryder, 28, said in June last year that he intended to take a year-long break from Black Caps duty but later suggested he was considering facing England. The two sides play three Twenty20 matches, the first of which is on 9 February, followed by three one-day internationals and three Test matches.

Ryder, who has struggled with various alcohol-related issues during his career as well as battling with his weight, has been in fine form for Wellington and has decided to remain in the domestic game. The player's agent, Aaron Klee, told the Sunday Star Times: "Jesse has decided he is not ready to return to the Black Caps yet. All his thinking at the moment is to keep to his original plan, which was to take 12 months out of international cricket. That decision was made last June, so it's unlikely he's going to deviate from his plan. I think we need to respect that Jesse has made some really good decisions over the last 10 to 12 months.

"He has goals that he wants to achieve, and achieving those would be difficult while playing international cricket, especially given the schedule in the coming months. We're building a long-term foundation here. We don't want to get it wrong again."

A player of Ryder's ability would clearly be a huge boost to New Zealand but they are sympathetic to his position. Heath Mills, the chief executive of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, added: "The temptation is – when he's playing so well for Wellington – to jump in and play some cricket against England. But that would be a mistake if we get back where we were 10 months ago."