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Cricket: Late-night drinks cost injured Ryder Test call.

Byline: Myles Hodgson

Jesse Ryder looks certain to miss the chance of playing in back-to-back Test series against England after injuring his hand during a late-night drinking spree to celebrate his country's one-day series triumph, writes Myles Hodgson.

The hard-hitting opening batsman was given his chance at the highest level for the first time in the one-day series after disciplinary problems had hindered his progress. But after a relatively quiet three weeks on international duty, Ryder cut the thumb and index finger of his right hand breaking a window while attempting to get into the toilets at a bar at about 5.30am yesterday.

The injuries were so severe that he is expected to be sidelined for three months, which has cost him the chance of making his Test debut in the three-match series starting next week and possibly of selection for the tour to England starting in mid-April.

New Zealand Cricket spokesman Lindsey Crocker said: "We're expecting quite a long rehab and it will be six weeks before he can do some physical training again and another six weeks before he can get back to competitive play. It's a bit early to be sure about England but, from what the doctor was saying, he will probably miss England.

"I suspect he'd had a few drinks. My information at this time is that he was not uncontrollably drunk but he'd had a few drinks and they'd been out since about 1.30am-2am. A few of the guys set off to celebrate the series so he'd been out about three hours by the time of the accident. He'd been with a group of players but my understanding is that the players had returned home and he had carried on with a couple of his friends."

The incident is likely to have an adverse effect on an international career which just appeared to be gaining momentum. Ryder, whose disciplinary offences have included refusing to play for New Zealand A and failing to report for last year's World Cup training camp, is not expected to receive further disciplinary action. "It's very disappointing," Crocker said. "We have strong protocols in the group and a behavioural code. Jesse was inducted into that like everyone in the team, had been with us a month and had shown exemplary behaviour."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 25, 2008
Words:383
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