Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, has said he will be available to play for Wellington during the 2012-13 domestic season. His manager, Aaron Klee, informed Wellington officials of Ryder's decision on Saturday.
"I've thought long and hard about playing cricket this summer and I think I'm going to be totally refreshed and ready to hit the summer firing on all cylinders," Ryder told Sunday Star Times. "I'm not asking for anything different than any other player - I just want to be back playing with the Wellington boys and helping them win titles next season.
"I'm setting myself some big goals for the season - I'm going to come back stronger than ever and make an impact for Wellington. This is the first step in the next stage of my career and I'm going hard out. As I said, I'm just focusing on one job at a time. I don't have any expectations of being selected for the Black Caps [New Zealand team] this summer - if I score heaps of runs and do the right stuff, that might happen in time.
"It's all about Wellington for me at the moment - whatever happens in the future will happen. I want to play for New Zealand again, but I'm taking one step at a time."
Klee said he was proud of the progress Ryder had made since he was dropped from the New Zealand squad in March for breaking team protocol.
"We've been through some rough times, but this is what it's all about - Jess making the right decisions and getting the job done," Klee said. "Jesse made the call to not sign up for the Sri Lankan Premier League. That was an easy way to earn some cash for three weeks work, but it was going to interfere with what he's privately working away at in terms of personal goals. I think he'll smash some records this domestic season."
Ryder had said he felt like he was "hung out to dry" in the aftermath of the incident at the Napier hotel during the ODIs against South Africa earlier this year. He said he had not done anything wrong and the whole episode, which in his opinion was blown out of proportion, diminished his love for cricket. Ryder revealed he went on an alcohol binge after he left the team and returned to Wellington.
Since then, Ryder said he was taking an indefinite break from cricket but played the IPL with a support structure in place. He and the New Zealand board agreed he wouldn't get a central contract as well until he was ready.