NZC tight-lipped over Ryder-Bracewell drama

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 10/02/2014

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UNDER THE GUN: Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell are under scrutiny from NZC following their night out before the beginning of the first test against India.

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New Zealand Cricket remains tight-lipped on the Jesse Ryder-Doug Bracewell drama as it investigates whether Bracewell suffered a hand injury in an alleged scuffle during the pair's night out last week.

NZC chief executive David White is expected to provide an update today as to whether the pair will be charged under the code of conduct after both admitted being at an Auckland bar just hours before the start of the first test against India on Thursday. Neither was named in the playing 11 but had remained with the squad as cover.

Black Caps security manager Sam Dickason is still piecing together the events of the night, which is complicated by Ryder currently playing for Otago and Bracewell being back home in Napier with a confirmed broken bone in his foot. NZC are investigating reports 

Bracewell suffered other injuries on the night, and there are questions as to whether he was involved in a fight. As of last night, no complaint had been laid by any member of the public.

As it stands, the pair's actions are not considered worthy of tearing up their respective contracts. Bracewell is one of NZC's 20 contracted players, and Ryder is contracted to Otago, for whom he scored 100 not out against Central Districts in Nelson yesterday despite the drama swirling around him.

Ryder, though, looks to be nearing his last chance with coach Mike Hesson who along with senior players was understood to be fuming when news broke on Friday of the pair's night out on test eve.

NZC originally hoped to name their 15-strong World Twenty20 squad on Wednesday but are likely to push it back to later in the week, before the Sunday deadline for squads to be announced.

Ryder was described yesterday as 50-50 to make that side as patience wears thin at his regular drinking exploits. His chances of snaring an Indian Premier League contract at Wednesday's player auction have also plummeted, with teams wary of taking a risk on someone with off-field form.

Ryder's long-time manager and friend, Aaron Klee, parted ways with his troublesome charge on Friday night. Klee declined to comment yesterday but Fairfax Media understands he is definitely no longer Ryder's manager after finally losing patience with his alcohol-fuelled off-field dramas.

Hesson, captain Brendon McCullum and NZC now have to decide if Ryder is such a valuable asset that they are willing to make concessions. If he is welcomed back into the Black Caps' fold, it will almost certainly be on the proviso he stays away from alcohol.

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Details emerged at the weekend of another big night out, after the tied ODI in Auckland on January 25. NZC confirmed reports that a drunk Ryder was assisted into a taxi at 3am by team-mate Jimmy Neesham, who was out with Ryder and was asked by team management to keep an eye on him.

- Fairfax Media

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