Wellington: Troubled batsman Jesse Ryder will return to international cricket following a self-imposed two-year exile after being named on Thursday in the New Zealand squad for the first two of five one-day games against the West Indies.
Ryder last played for New Zealand in an ODI against South Africa in February 2012 after which he was censured for breaking team rules by drinking alcohol while injured.
He then made himself unavailable for New Zealand while he tackled fitness and personal issues. During that absence, Ryder served a six-month suspension after testing positive to two banned substances contained in a generic weight-loss medicine. He was also the victim of a near fatal assault which left him in a coma with head and lung injuries. (Read)
Ryder's recall has been hastened by his strong form in New Zealand's domestic competitions, scoring more than 500 runs at an average of 64 with two centuries and two half centuries for Otago province this season.
"I set the goal to make it back earlier this year and it is a great end to a tough year for me," Ryder said. "I'm more motivated than ever to perform for (New Zealand)."
New Zealand selection manager Bruce Edgar said "Jesse gives us added firepower at the top of the order and he has a proven international record."
Opening batsman Martin Guptill has also been recalled to the 13-man New Zealand squad after missing New Zealand's recent series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka because of injury.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi has been named to take the gloves from captain Brendon McCullum, who is not expected to keep wicket in international matches again because of a back injury.
Kyle Mills and Mitchell McClenaghan will share the new ball while Nathan McCullum and Kane Williamson provide spin alternatives and room has been found for all-rounders Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham. Colin Munro has claimed the last middle-order batting spot.
The first game is at Auckland's Eden Park on Boxing Day and the second at McLean Park, Napier on December 29.