New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder has been recalled for the fifth and final ODI against West Indies to be played in Napier on Tuesday. Ryder was dropped for the fourth match after missing a team meeting on the morning of January 8, and the training session in the afternoon, following a late night of drinking.
Ryder, who was subsequently fined after a disciplinary hearing, is expected to play in his regular opening slot with his replacement in the fourth match, Martin Guptill, coming in at No. 3.
Guptill scored an unbeaten 122 on debut but despite his dazzling display, New Zealand coach Andy Moles said there was no hesitation in reinstating Ryder. "Not at all. Jesse is a match-winner opening the batting. He and Brendon [McCullum] are a formidable pair," he told AFP.
Ryder's latest indiscretion followed his infamous night out in Christchurch last February, when he put his hand through a window while trying to gain access to a toilet area that had been accidentally locked.
The injury occurred on the morning after New Zealand's ODI series win against England and it later emerged that he was also out drinking until 1:30 am on the eve of a game. He had to undergo surgery and was sidelined until September.
Moles hoped that Ryder had learned from his mistakes and was ready to offer him assistance as well. "Jesse assures us it's a thing of the past and we have to move on with that in mind," Moles said. "We've got a plan in place to help Jesse with his problem."
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) had taken steps after the Christchurch incident to assist Ryder within the team environment. Although it proved effective on the two previous tours to Bangladesh and Australia last year, his latest lapse means the approach will be reappraised.
NZC Players Association chief executive Heath Mills said his organisation would also continue to support Ryder, although it was ultimately the player's responsibility to recognise the severity of his actions. "I'm not quite sure he understands the extent of his problem, in terms of his issue with alcohol," he said.
"People counsel him, programmes are put in place around him and for a time he apparently stopped drinking but I'm not sure he fully understands how serious this is. To be frank, I don't anticipate this will be the last setback of its type that he'll have."