This is not the first time Ryder has been involved in a confrontation at a bar
Former New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has admitted that the consequences from the incidents involving him during New Zealand’s home series against South Africa are responsible for the downfall of his career.
After an ODI defeat in Napier Ryder and his New Zealand team-mate Doug Bracewell went to a hotel, where both players, after getting quite drunk, got into a heated confrontation with another patron.
Ryder, believes that he did nothing wrong, and that the whole incident had been blown way out of proportion, which started to decrease his love for the game of cricket.
Speaking exclusively to Fairfax NZ News, Ryder said: “I think what happened in that South African series really did burn me out – the whole going out and wrecking team protocol thing, in my opinion, I didn’t do anything wrong whatsoever. I wasn’t even injured and it all just escalated into something that it shouldn’t have. I felt like I was hung out to dry. I knew I was going to take the full force of it too because that’s just the way it goes really.”
Ryder and Bracewell were both dropped from the squad after their confrontation with the patron at the hotel and for breaking team protocol as well.
“Other guys would argue that I shouldn’t have put myself in that position but I didn’t see anything wrong with what I was doing,” Ryder said. “I didn’t go out and get drunk. The only reason it escalated was because two guys at the pub were giving us s*** and I told them to f*** off. All of a sudden, New Zealand Cricket was getting calls to say that we were in a fight and that was just bollocks,” Ryder added.
After being dropped for the series, Ryder explained that he went on an alcohol binge.
“I think throughout that last month after I left the Black Caps [New Zealand team], the drinking got real bad and I would start getting on the p*** on a Friday night and I’d still be going on Sunday. I was just hammering it and it did get to a point where I think I needed to hit rock bottom to see how bad things actually were,” Ryder said.
Since that series, Ryder decided to take an indefinite break from cricket, even though he did play in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ryder, has also opted against signing a contract for the 2012 to 2013 season, stating that he wanted to be fully ready before making his return.
“After that low period, I finally managed to really pull my head in and get my s*** together, and I’m 102 or 103 days sober now, I’m also probably in the best head-space I’ve been in for a long time. In the end, everything’s probably going to work out for the best. I think I’m a completely different person now than I was six months ago. I’m sharper, fitter and on to it,” Ryder added.
When asked about the IPL, Ryder stated that it had been a challenge, but was glad that no incidents occurred during his time with the Pune Warriors.
Ryder, has been sober in the past, before dropping back to his old ways, but he claims this time it is different.
“I think the whole reason for that is, for the first time, this is my call to stop the drinking. This time it’s not about having everyone else push me into it. In the past, I’ve just been frustrated the whole time, you know? But this time, it was my call. It’s all on me. I want to do this for myself,” he said.
Since opting out of a new central contract with New Zealand Cricket, Ryder has pursued his other areas of interest, his most successful being boxing.
“I’ve had a whole lot of other things to focus on and, if anything, it’s probably been a real breath of fresh air, I’m so excited about this winter. I’m going to be able to go snowboarding for the first time. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but because I’ve always been contracted I haven’t been allowed to go out and do that sort of stuff. I’ve got a lot of fitness goals and stuff away from cricket that I want to achieve too,” he added.
Even though Ryder does not have a specific time period for his return to cricket, he noted that he does have some unfinished business to take care of when he decides the time is right to make his comeback.
“I’ll definitely love cricket again. I think this little break will do me wonders. If I continue the way I’m going, I’ll come back as a better player and a better person. I want to be one of the best batsmen that New Zealand has seen, really. A whole lot of stuff that I’m doing now is basically done with the intention of proving a point to a lot of people who have bagged me or said I couldn’t do something. I want to get in there and shut them all up,” Ryder said.