Troubles New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder, who looks set to return to the game from his self-imposed exile, got a thumbs up from Pune Warriors’ mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton ahead of their Indian Premier League-V opener against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium today.
Pune Warriors NZ all-rounder Jesse Ryder during a training session at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK
Ryder, who is accompanied by a psychologist Karen Nimmo besides his manager Aaron Klee for the tournament, has a history of being involved in a host of alcohol-related incidents throughout his career. He announced an indefinite break from the game after being handed a one-match ban following a binge drinking session following an ODI against South Africa in February.
Ryder’s first attempt to come back to cricket (on Feb 29) was also marred after the all-rounder got into an altercation with another player during a club match for the Naenae Old Boys and was subsequently charged with breaching Cricket Wellington’s code of conduct. IPL-V is another attempt by Ryder to get his career back on track, and Upton believes he’s on the right path. “He’s (Ryder) been through tough times. But he is in a really good state of mind at the moment. He knows whatever has happened is over. He is looking forward to this opportunity,” Upton told MiD DAY after the practice session yesterday.
Ryder was on his toes throughout the three-hour training session. He slugged it out in the field before bowling for quite a while in the nets. Upton, who was part of India’s World Cup-winning support staff, said Ryder is eager lift his game hereon. “He wants to create something new for his career. I am optimistic about him. He is eager to take his game to a new level. He wants to leave everything in the past and is keen to focus on his game. And it’s my job to create an environment where there is freedom to play, clear plans and excellent communication within players,” explained Upton.