(Un) easy Ryder

It's been interesting watching Jesse Ryder, New Zealand cricket's latest hero, these past few weeks, if only because here was someone who'd obviously ripped up the modern cricketer's training manual and thrown it out of the window in favour of a double helping of pies and a few beers. As David Lloyd said during one of the early ODIs, 'he looks a thirsty lad'.

None of his appearances at the top of the Black Caps' order was complete without commentators referring to his murky past, and that has since become his murky present. He seriously injured his hand punching a window in a Christchurch bar a few days ago and then allegedly gave the hospital staff treating him a mouthful of his accumulated wisdom, including the statement that 'I am New Zealand cricket'.

Well, that's as maybe. It's certainly true that the Kiwis, with Fleming on his way out, Bond off to India and Styris following him, aren't exactly over-burdened with star quality as they head into two Test series with England over the next few months, and it would do them - and him - good to get Ryder sorted out.

He probably won't be fit even for the series in England, but, at just 23, he could have a decent future if he can get his head together.

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