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.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Baroness Lane-Fox warned that large companies such as have become so powerful that governments and regulators are left behind
techTech giants have left governments and regulators behind
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
'Prison Architect' players decide the fate of inmates
tech
Life and Style
A picture taken on February 11, 2014 at people walking at sunrise on the Trocadero Esplanade, also known as the Parvis des droits de l'homme (Parvis of Human Rights), in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
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
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor