Wellington: Troubled cricketer Jesse Ryder's bid to regain a place in the New Zealand team suffered a setback Monday when he pulled out of an A squad tour to Dubai, citing personal reasons.
The withdrawal follows his absence from a provincial match over the weekend. The explosive batsman's career is littered with alcohol-fuelled incidents and his selection for the New Zealand A tour was seen as a test of his commitment before the World Cup starting in February.
Jesse Ryder. File Pic
Ryder has not played for the New Zealand premier side since he went on a late-night drinking session in Auckland before the start of a Test series against India nine months ago.
New Zealand selector Bruce Edgar announced Ryder's decision not to travel to the UAE but made no comment on his future.
"NZC (New Zealand Cricket) respects Jesse's decision and is currently considering options for a replacement," Edgar said in the brief statement. Edgar had previously said the United Arab Emirates tour was a chance to assess Ryder and "his future prospects will depend on his performance, on and off the field in Dubai".
Ryder, who averages 33.21 runs in his 42 ODI innings with three centuries, is a polarising figure for New Zealand cricket fans. Some view him as a saviour, but others fear his antics disrupt team harmony.