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Bad boy Ryder seeks redemption

cricket Updated: Nov 02, 2010 01:04 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times
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He is unquestionably talented as has been well depicted in his two-year-old Test career. His tendency to get into trouble after consuming alcohol has also been well documented. Equally unmistakable is the bulge around his waist and chin. And there you are, meeting the Paul Gascoigne of New Zealand cricket.

Unfortunately for Jesse Ryder, as much has been written about his indiscretions off the field, as his exploits on it.

The people around the 26-year-old though are aware enough of his potential to give him a chance. Ryder was determined to put the bad memories behind while talking to the media on Monday.

"I have been off alcohol for about 100 days now and trying to be more professional as a player. I am working harder at the nets and focusing a lot on my behaviour off the field. I am glad that I have been given another chance after all those off-the-field stuff," said Ryder.

From missing a series against England after running his arm through a glass window in a reportedly inebriated state to more brazen instances of unacceptable conduct earlier this year, Ryder has hit the headlines for wrong reasons far more times than most other players with just 11 Tests under their belt would. But Ryder is not running away from reality. He admits he was on the wrong side of things and wants to fight his way out through cricket.

"I brought it upon myself and am facing it. I am trying to move on in life…While working harder than I ever have in the last few months, I have realised how much I love this game." He has has an impressive record against the hosts, having scored two centuries including a 201 when India toured New Zealand in 2008-09. "I know it's going to be a lot different in India but I have watched those innings over and over again. It gives me a lot of confidence."