Just hours after his dumping from the Black Caps was announced, Jesse Ryder's woes were compounded with a golden duck for Otago.
Ryder was today dropped from the New Zealand squad for the second test with India following his night out with Doug Bracewell in Auckland.
Ryder was one of three Otago players who failed to score in the Plunket Sheild match versus Central Districts at Nelson's Saxton Oval.
Coach Mike Hesson, clearly irked today at having to discuss off-field issues rather than his team's 40-run win over India at Eden Park, confirmed Ryder and Bracewell would not be considered for the second test starting in Wellington on Friday.
Bracewell has a broken bone in a foot, the circumstances of which remain unclear, while Ryder has been stood down pending the completion of an investigation into their night out on Thursday, test eve.
"We need to make sure that all our players prepare themselves accordingly for test cricket, and at the moment we don't have confidence that that's the case," Hesson said.
The second-test squad will be named tomorrow including a new batsman and bowler, possibly the Canterbury pair Tom Latham and Hamish Bennett.
Hesson, who is also the head selector, wouldn't be drawn on the international futures of Ryder or Bracewell, or any further sanctions they might face. The pair weren't in the playing 11 for Eden Park but had remained with the squad as cover.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is still piecing together the details of what happened and deciding whether the pair will be charged under the code of conduct. NZC won't provide an update until tomorrow.
Bracewell, one of NZC's 20 contracted players, is understood to have suffered a hand injury that night, too, and NZC is trying to determine whether that was as a result of a scuffle. Ryder is contracted to Otago.
"The fact that we've won a test match yesterday and the fact the first few questions are based around off-field incidents is clearly an extreme disappointment for the team," Hesson said.
"It takes away from a superb effort over the last four days."
Asked if he felt let down by Ryder in particular, who was given another chance by Hesson after a history of off-field dramas relating to alcohol, the coach said: "Both Jesse and Doug did not prepare themselves well for the test match and we're certainly very disappointed about that."
Hesson had seen video footage shown on television news of an apparently drunk Ryder stumbling outside an Auckland bar at 3am the morning after the tied ODI on January 25. He was shown being assisted into a taxi by team-mate Jimmy Neesham.
"It wasn't a good look," Hesson said.
Hesson now has a tough call to make, depending on what the investigation reveals.
If Ryder isn't charged under the code of conduct, Hesson has to decide whether to include the match-winning batsman in his 15-man squad for the World Twenty20, which has to be named by Sunday, or whether he is too great a risk.
Hesson said Ryder hadn't breached team protocols since his return to the New Zealand team on Boxing Day.
"We have faith in our players that they make good decisions around preparation," he said.
"We're dealing with grown men. If a player was to have a beer with their meal before a game we don't have an issue with that at all. But there's a big difference between that and what occurred the night before the test match."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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