New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder scored a century in his first cricket match since March, capping an extraordinary comeback since he was assaulted and came close to losing his life in an unprovoked attack.
The left-hander has a long record of alcohol issues and controversial moments in his career, but underlined that it was his talent which thrust him into the public eye with the 14th hundred of his career.
Batting for domestic side Otago, Ryder compiled 114 against Wellington in a Plunket Shield match.
It was a typically feisty knock, with 19 fours crunched in his 151 balls.
Only last week Ryder announced his intention to return to the New Zealand national team. In quotes picked up by Cricinfo, he said:
My main goal is to play for New Zealand again. All going well, I'd like to push for the West Indies tour. But, definitely, the main aim is to try and earn a call-up in time for that Indian tour [in January] if they don't pick me for the West Indies tour.
It is a far cry from March, when the 29-year-old was assaulted in Christchurch. His injuries were so severe that there were fears for his life. He survived after spending 56 hours in an induced coma.
Ryder could have made his return to the game still sooner were it not for the fact that he was serving a six-month suspension for a banned substance.
The ban, which Stuff clarifies was down to an illegal substance in weight loss pills, only expired last week.
Whether this heralds the birth of a new, mature Ryder remains to be seen—either way, it is an indication that one of the game's characters still has something to offer the sport.
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