Jesse Ryder and New Zealand Cricket have had an amicable parting of ways, leaving his international playing future in limbo.
The troubled but gifted New Zealand batsman will cease employment with NZC on August 1 after making himself unavailable for a national contract for 2012-13.
Ryder, 27, was unlikely to be offered one anyway after his recent off-field and fitness issues, but told NZC's director of cricket John Buchanan of his decision at his annual player review in Wellington yesterday as he works towards "a number of health and fitness-related goals".
His manager, Aaron Klee, and NZ Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills, accompanied Ryder to the review and supported his decision.
NZC chief executive David White, in England on ICC business, was briefed last night.
"All of the evidence shows that Jesse is on the right track, both on and off the field, but we're aware that there are still steps to be made," White said.
"While cricket remains an important part of his life, it is his health and wellbeing that need to be the primary focus. Jesse wants to concentrate on his personal goals without the media pressures, commercial pressures and other demands associated with being a contracted player."
Where that leaves Ryder's international career is uncertain. Having just returned from a moderately successful Indian Premier League campaign with Pune, he is understood to have at least one Twenty20 offer from English counties. He could theoretically make a handy living from plying his trade in the big T20 tournaments in England, Australia and India.
Cricket Wellington also has to decide whether to offer Ryder a domestic contract for the coming season.
Whether Ryder wants to be contracted is another matter, and he faces a judicial hearing relating to an alleged incident with Firebirds team-mate Harry Boam in a club match in March.
"NZC and Cricket Wellington are committed to helping Jesse and he will continue to receive support from within cricket and from his own support network," White said.
Ryder took a month off cricket in March to deal with unspecified personal issues.
Mills, who has spoken of his goal to help Ryder get back in contention for New Zealand selection, said: "We are pleased with the review process and the approach Jesse is taking. Jesse spoke positively about the things he wants to achieve and we are keen to support him."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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