OPINION: Jesse Ryder might think he has grown up, but it looks like there's some way to go.
The troubled but talented batsman is out of New Zealand Cricket's eyes, no longer their worry, as he plies his trade in England with Essex.
But if the 29-year-old harboured hopes of returning to these shores and having the support that he once had, he's definitely gone the wrong way about it.
It was a sign of his ignorance, make that arrogance, to read what Ryder had to say in London's The Sunday Times, published in this paper yesterday.
He's given you, the fans, the big middle finger, basically.
Speaking about his drinking escapade on the eve of last summer's test against India in Auckland, Ryder holds a grudge of how the incident was covered in the media.
"That last incident blew up pretty badly and I don't really have time for the media back home any more," he said in the interview with Simon Wilde.
Ryder may have forgotten how small a place the world is, when articles from yes, shock horror, England, appear in papers in yes, little old Kiwi-land. But I'm not prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Ryder protests that he was never going to play that next day, having not trained the day before and being booked on a flight on day one of the test. But if injuries struck on game day, he would've been required.
Ryder needs to show some maturity and take responsibility for his actions rather than pointing the finger at the media. It's not like he hasn't been in this position before.
"Some of it frustrates you," he said of this country's media coverage. "Back home, it's such a small place the media love to make a lot out of it. Getting out of New Zealand and being over here will do me wonders."
Just laughable isn't it.
You can guarantee if he steps out of line at Essex the spotlight from the British media will burn far harsher rays than what he's felt here.
If Ryder really doesn't have time for us anymore, then you, the cricketing fan, are going to be the ones missing out. Sportspeople are quick to forget that when they are interviewed by journalists they are talking to the fans. We are merely an intermediary.
But what if we don't run any more pictures of him in the paper? What if we don't report another cracking century for Otago? Should his name be blanked out in scorecards? The same goes for radio, TV, social media etc.
Ryder can't have his cake and eat it too. The good must be taken with the bad.
Grovelling isn't going to be his way so he's come out swinging.
How about saving that for on the pitch.
- Waikato Times