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Timeline: Jesse's risky singles

opinion Max Bania

By's Max Bania

Published: 11:30AM Tuesday May 12, 2009 Source: ONE Sport

Why, why, why, Jesse Ryder?

That's the question Black Caps fans will be asking in response to reports that New Zealand cricket's problem child has fallen off the wagon again.

Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, has emphatically denied that Ryder was recently involved in a brouhaha with security guards in South Africa, but he did admit his young charge had been drinking again and where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

Perhaps we shouldn't be that surprised. Finding oneself left largely to one's own devices in a foreign country with not much to do, money to spend and boerewors to eat can be too great a temptation for many a young man to resist.

But Ryder is old enough - and experienced enough - to know better.

Neither New Zealand Cricket nor Ryder's employers on the side, the Bangalore Royal Challengers, have yet commented on his latest alleged infraction but he probably has cause to be nervous.

Having signed on for US$160,000 (NZ$266,640), Ryder has played just four matches and contributed just 34 runs, an average of NZ$7,840 per run.

Given that he has scarcely made himself an indispensable figure - and provided the allegations are true - Bangalore may decide that having the Black Caps batsman on their books is more trouble than its worth.

Especially if they aware are of Ryder's growing history of run-ins with the powers-that-be.

August 2006

Then-Black Caps coach John Bracewell publicly chastises Ryder and teammate Craig McMillan for being unfit and out of shape during a New Zealand A tour of Australia. "We're working with Jesse to try to get him fit and into some sort of competition condition. At 22 he doesn't know better yet", Bracewell says, adding that Ryder's undeniable promise (he scored 346 runs in seven matches at the Emerging Players tournament in Brisbane) had spared him a subsequent axing from the Black Caps' initial 30-man squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in India.

May 2007

Ryder fails to turn up to a Friends Provident league match for Ireland against Surrey in London, claiming via text message that he'd missed his flight. This is later contradicted by Ryder's agent, who says his player is suffering from a sore back. A furious Irish Cricket Union - reportedly paying Ryder around NZ$2,250 per appearance - cuts ties with the 22-year-old, who then goes on to state he's turning his back on New Zealand cricket in the hope of an England call-up. "I am still pretty young. Every now and then you do some stupid things", Ryder tells New Zealand's Sunday News in a moment of dramatic foreshadowing.

February 2008

Ryder undergoes a tendon reconstruction and skin graft after smashing his hand through the window of toilet door in a Christchurch bar. The injury, sustained at 5.30 on the morning after a ODI win over England, causes the in-form Ryder to miss the winter tour to England. It is later revealed that Ryder was abusive and uncooperative with hospital staff, and had also been out socialing with friends until 1.30am on the eve of the match. Ryder later apologises to the staff involved and pledges to carry out voluntary work for the Emergency Care Foundation.

January 2009

Ryder is dropped for the fourth ODI against the West Indies at Eden Park after an unsupervised drinking session that results in him sleeping through a team meeting and being unable to train with the team later that afternoon. The incident comes just months after Ryder admitted to the Dominion Post that "there definitely can be no more stuff-ups otherwise I'm gone". Martin Guptill opens the batting in Ryder's absence and scores 122 not out, the second-highest score by a player on ODI debut.

May 2009

Several media agencies report that Ryder had to be placed in headlock by security guards during a booze-fuelled off-field confrontation during the IPL tournament in South Africa. Ryder's agent denies an altercation ever occurred but concedes that Ryder had consumed alcohol after previously having abstained for over three months. "Jesse's had over a hundred days of sobriety and has made enormous progress during that time, on and off the field", says his mentor Murray Deaker. "Now for that to continue he needs support and moves have already been made to assist him to get back on top".

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