Jesse Ryder © Getty Images
Jesse Ryder has ‘got ground to make up’ for national team return © Getty Images

Wellington, Oct 20, 2014

New Zealand cricket team coach Mike Hesson has met with all-rounder Jesse Ryder on his return from England, and said that the player has got ground to make up for return to national team.

It signalled the first time Ryder had indicated a clear interest in playing for New Zealand since he was exiled from international cricket after his Auckland bar hijinks in February.

Ryder’s broad shadow would loom over New Zealand’s World Cup buildup, particularly if the all-rounder continues to plunder domestic runs for Otago and the national side’s top order struggle, or there are injuries to frontliners, Stuff.co.nz reported.

Hesson was positive in his reflections on the conversation he had with the swashbuckling batsman. He said that it was nice to meet Ryder and see how he’s tracking, and added that captain Brendon McCullum had a chat to the all rounder the other day.

Clearly his off-field behaviour and a pledge of 100 per cent commitment would count more than form in the coming weeks, and Hesson remained firm with the stance he took in not considering Ryder for selection since February. His New Zealand teammates need convincing too.

Hesson said that they always know Ryder is going to score runs and that’s not the point. He added that they obviously need all their players to be desperately keen to play for New Zealand. He said that the World Cup is a huge event for them and that’s something they would keep pretty true to.

Hesson said that there’s no doubt Ryder’s got ground to make up, adding that everyone’s well aware of that. He said that the only way they can make that up is by talking and making everyone extremely clear about expectations.

Hesson’s selections for the New Zealand XI one-day squad to play matches in the United Arab Emirates next month, while the test team is playing Pakistan , might reportedly tell a story.

It could provide Ryder a chance to show he would make the necessary commitment on a low-key tour.

Hesson said that the door is never closed, the NZ XI side to Dubai would get picked at the end of the month and they would see what happens. He added that Ryder is in the frame along with everybody else.