Troubled New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder will return to cricket after a self-imposed layoff when he takes up his contract with the Pune Warriors in next month's Indian Premier League.
Ryder hasn't played since he was suspended from breaking team rules by drinking alcohol while injured after New Zealand's second one-day international against South Africa on February 29. He then took a break from the sport to deal with fitness and personal issues at what his manger called "a deeply stressful and emotional time."
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Ryder's decision to play in the IPL was a "good first step" toward a return to the New Zealand team.
Meanwhile, White played down reported tension between national team coach John Wright and New Zealand's new director of cricket, former Australian coach John Buchanan.
Wright's current contract ends when he returns from the New Zealand team's tour to the West Indies in August and local media reports his strained relationship with Buchanan may affect his decision to reapply.
"In any professional sporting organization you have strong people and sometimes you have positive tension," White said. "Sometimes that's a good thing because you get outcomes.
"They're strong personalities. I've got no issue with the structure and they're the reporting lines. It works pretty well but at times there is robust debate."