New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder in critical condition after assault outside bar

Cricketer reportedly set on by four men in Christchurch

The New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after suffering severe head injuries in a late night assault outside a bar.

Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer of Christchurch Police told a news conference today that it appeared the cricketer had been assaulted twice and suffered the head injuries in the second assault.

Radio New Zealand reported late Wednesday that Ryder was in a coma in the intensive care unit with a fractured skull, punctured lung and internal bleeding.

The hospital refused to confirm Ryder's injuries but said his condition was listed as critical. A spokesman for the ambulance service that transported Ryder to hospital said he had suffered "very serious head injuries"

Archer said police have been studying closed circuit television footage from Aikman's Bar in the suburb of Merivale and interviewing witnesses.

He said Ryder was attacked by "two or three" people as he was leaving the bar and police believe at least two people followed him across the road to the car park of a fast-food restaurant where the second attack occurred. Ryder left the bar with two teammates who were in the restaurant when the attack took place.

Police found no motive for the attacks and alcohol was not considered a factor, Archer said. Up to 10 people may have witnessed the assaults and police were continuing to speak to witnesses.

Eye witnesses previously said Ryder was attacked by four men outside the bar and was punched and then kicked repeatedly while lying on the ground.

Ryder had been at the bar with teammates from the Wellington cricket team, which played in the semifinals of New Zealand's domestic one-day competition in Christchurch earlier Wednesday.

A witness quoted by Fairfax Media said the attack appeared to be unprovoked and Ryder did not appear intoxicated.

"Four dudes were just laying into him and absolutely smashing him on the ground," the witness said. "His shirt was ripped off and they were kicking him and punching him while he was down."

The manager of the bar where the assault took place, Steve Holmes, said Ryder and his teammates had been drinking quietly. He said footage from the bar's security cameras had been provided to police.

"We are just working in conjunction with the police," he said. "The incident has happened off the premises, outside our licensed area. We are just providing support to police."

Ryder was due to leave New Zealand on Friday to play Twenty20 cricket in the Indian Premier League.

Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, declined to give details of Ryder's condition, but said he was flying to Christchurch to be with the player. Members of Ryder's family, officials of New Zealand Cricket and the head of the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association were also due to travel to the South Island city.

"We are all shocked by what has occurred and extremely concerned for Jesse," New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said in a statement. "New Zealand Cricket's thoughts are with him and his family."

Ryder last played for New Zealand in a one-day international against South Africa in February, 2012. He was reprimanded after that match for breaking team rules by drinking alcohol while recovering from injury.

Ryder then made himself unavailable for New Zealand selection, turning down a national contract to deal with alcohol and fitness issues. He engaged a clinical psychologist to assist him in dealing with those problems.

The left-handed batsman remains unavailable for international cricket but returned to domestic cricket and played in the IPL last season for Pune.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power