Wellington: Big-hitting batsman Jesse Ryder is reportedly set to be named in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) team release on Friday, for the first time since January.
Speculations were rife that Ryder would be included in the New Zealand A squad for four one-day games in Dubai next month, in the first tentative steps towards consideration for the national team.
Jesse Ryder. Pic/ Atul Kamble
The speculations have confirmed that NZC, and national coach Mike Hesson, are taking Ryder's pledge to commit to an international return and curb his off-field behaviour seriously, Stuff.co.nz reported.
It's early days and World Cup selection remains only a slim chance, but the door is open wider than a week ago. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum appeared to put a line through Ryder's name last Friday, a day after Ryder blazed 136 off 57 balls for Otago against Ireland.
The skipper said that Ryder had work to do before he would be considered for the squad again, and added that until that happened they would be pushing something that is not quite ready. Hesson has been in regular contact with Ryder, who indicated a desire to revive his international career on return from a successful English county season.
The coach dropped a hint on Monday that the hardline stance on Ryder was softening when he declared him available for the NZA tour. The Dubai trip is seen as a trial run, away from the spotlight, and would provide a gauge of Ryder's progress and ability to fit in.
Should Ryder get through the NZA tour without incident and score runs, he will almost certainly be included in the 30-man World Cup squad that must be sent to the International Cricket Council (ICC) by December 7.
Hesson has said that those names won't be made public. The final 15-man squad would be announced on January 8. Those names, and several designated injury replacements, have to come from the original 30, the report added.