Jesse Ryder celebrates comeback with a ton
Troubled New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder today completed a remarkable comeback from a serious assault by posting a century in his first game for more than seven months
He scored 117 off 164 balls playing for Otago away to his former side Wellington in a provincial championship match. It was Ryder's first appearance with the bat since being seriously assaulted outside a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch last March.
He was later suspended for six months after testing positive to a banned substance contained in weight loss pills. The 29-year-old, who has been in a self-imposed exile from international cricket since early 2012 when he said he needed to sort out personal issues, has announced he now wants to reclaim his place in the New Zealand team.
The left-hander is a prodigious batting talent, averaging 40.93 from 33 Test innings, but his career has been blighted by disciplinary lapses and off-field problems as well as fitness issues. He appeared to be making progress before he was assaulted outside a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch and suffered a serious head injury.
"We've all heard the stories of guys hitting their heads and dying after being punched and falling to the ground. I look back and think I am lucky not to be dead," he later told reporters.