Image courtesy of: Zimbio
“The main aim is to try and earn a call-up in time for that Indian tour [in January] if they don’t pick me for the West Indies tour”
Troubled opening batsman Jesse Ryder has announced that his “main goal is to play for New Zealand again” after he recently received a six-month ban for testing positive for a banned substance in March.
Ryder will mark his comeback by representing Otago in their first Plunket Shield match against Wellington and he hopes to impress and convince the national selectors that he deserves to be on the national team when the West Indies and India come to visit.
“My main goal is to play for New Zealand again,” Ryder told Fairfax NZ news. “All going well, I’d like to push for the West Indies tour. But, definitely, the main aim is to try and earn a call-up in time for that Indian tour [in January] if they don’t pick me for the West Indies tour.”
New Zealand will host the West Indies from December 3 in a series that will consist of three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals.
It will be immediately followed by two Tests and five ODIs against India.
Ryder will have two Plunket Shield matches and four HRV Cup matches to impress the national selectors before the West Indies series gets underway.
“The body’s pretty good,” Ryder said. “I’m still suffering a little with the head, you know – just some light-headedness. But that’s slowly getting better. I’ve been training hard and everything’s coming along really well.”
After getting involved in an altercation in a bar while New Zealand were touring South Africa last year, Ryder took some time off.
He returned with a bang as he amassed 1479 runs in all three formats in last year’s domestic season at a scintillating average of 49.30.
However, his international comeback was postponed after he was viciously assaulted outside a bar in Christchurch.
As a result of the attack, Ryder spent two days in a medically induced coma before making a full recovery.
But, Ryder still remains unclear about what exactly happened that night.
“I look back and think I am lucky not to be dead,” Ryder said. “I couldn’t really believe it. I didn’t know where I was, what had happened. Someone told me I’d been jumped, hit from behind and had whacked my head. It was just black. I just woke up [in hospital] all of a sudden after 56 hours or so, I think it was, just bang, like that.
“At first, I just couldn’t walk properly. My balance was just so off and I was struggling to walk and the weakness was crazy. It took ages to get back to normal. I would love to actually take this opportunity to thank all the people who supported me through that time. It was overwhelming.”
Speaking about the six-month ban he received after testing positive for a banned substance, Ryder said: “I’m not going to bother with supplements anymore. They are a waste of time and I definitely don’t want to ever go through that again.”