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Ryder says sorry for behaviour

Published: 10:32AM Tuesday February 26, 2008 Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

New Zealand cricket all-rounder Jesse Ryder has said sorry to his team mates, his supporters and staff at Christchurch Hospital after a series of damaging revelations about his late-night antics.

Forty eight hours after being out on the town, smashing a window in a bar and having to undergo surgery on his bowling hand, the 23-year old has spoken publicly for the first time.

Ever since reports of him being abusive and rude to nurses at the hospital emergency department there has been intense pressure for Ryder to explain himself.  Late on Tuesday, with his boss from New Zealand Cricket beside him, he tried to do just that, fronting up at a news conference.

"I'm not happy with my behaviour and I'll be working with support staff to deal with those issues," Ryder says.

"I apologise to the public and my fans and all the supporters who have supported me through my time with the Black Caps and my family and New Zealand Cricket."

Ryder has been told this is his last chance, his serious hand injury summed up in one line.

"It was just a reckless mind explosion basically."

And he clearly remembers his actions.

"My behaviour at A and E was pathetic and I will be apologising to them as well."

A man who says he was there, claims in an email to a local radio station that Ryder said to nurses "Don't you know who I am? I want priority treatment." And when somebody else asked who is he, Ryder replied "I am New Zealand Cricket."

Christchurch Hospital staff were not commenting on Tuesday but the Nurses Association was.

"For us the issues are broader than this one particular incident in this one hospital," says Glenda Alexander, Nurses Organisation Industrial Adviser.

"It's not uncommon and the abuse that nurses in the front line have to put up with varies from emotional kind of intimidation and out and out physical violence."

Ryder doesn't know how much he had to drink but accepts he needs some help.

"I don't think I've got a problem. Like I said there's an issue there that needs to be dealt with and New Zealand Cricket and their support staff there will help me through it."

For its part, New Zealand Cricket has also given a warning.

"In time it will become clear what level of reassurance and how that can be proven to us before we make any decisions over future selection," says Justin Vaughan of NZ Cricket.
Ryder says he's now turning his attention to his recovery and fundraising events as part of his apology to Christchurch Hospital.

Meanwhile, former All Black Norm Hewitt who waged a public battle with alcohol himself, says the Black Caps management should have been quicker to act over Ryder's behaviour.

He says it is a question of responsibility on both sides but Ryder should have been monitored and rules should have been put in place.

Hewitt says the Black Cap needs to decide whether he wants to continue his cricket career before it is too late.