John Wright, the New Zealand coach, has admitted Jesse Ryder is testing his patience with his indiscretions. Ryder was dropped from the third ODI against South Africa after breaking team protocol following New Zealand's defeat in Napier. He went out to a hotel after the game, along with Doug Bracewell, who was also dropped, and got into an argument with a patron.
When asked if Ryder, who has had problems with alcohol and has been involved in three other such indiscretions as an international cricketer, was testing his patience, Wright said, "It's fair to say that." He added: "He's a talented cricketer and it's up to him and certainly everyone has the opportunity to play if they perform and are fit and abide by some of the rules that go with being in the team.
"The door is open for any player but there are standards you need to reach.
"It's a distraction to be honest. We have talked about it, we are over it and we have a big game tomorrow - we are up against a good side. You do get a little bit disappointed. But it's part of life and people make mistakes and you get on with it. We wouldn't want this to be happening regularly."
Ryder was recovering from a split webbing in his hand and Bracewell from a hamstring injury; team protocol dictated that players "rehabilitating from injury should not consume alcohol." Asked if other players should be looking out for Ryder, Wright said, "That can be difficult. Most players at that time of night are in bed ... the professional ones."
Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman and captain for the ODI series, also expressed his disappointment. "You've got a very disappointed bunch of players, and hopefully New Zealand Cricket will take that on board as well,'' he told Radio Sport.
"There's obviously some contractual obligations which need to be met along the way, which Jesse isn't meeting at this stage, and I'm sure that there'll be some intense discussions between Jesse's people and New Zealand Cricket around that contractual stuff.
"The players wanted Jesse back when he was playing well and in the right head-space, but the team did not want these sorts of distractions'.
"From our point of view, we'd just suffered another tough loss, our fourth in a row, and it certainly wasn't the time to be out socialising and being seen in public drinking."
Ryder has also been left out of the first Test against South Africa, though for form reasons. McCullum, however, admitted such breaches were frustrating for the team. "This is probably one of the more minor events, but ultimately it's probably one of the more definitive ones as well. So from a team-mate perspective, it is frustrating because you just want your team performances to be doing the talking rather than any off-field behaviour.''
Bracewell's father Brendon Bracewell, who played six Tests for New Zealand, said his son was "extremely embarrassed" by the incident. "Hopefully he'll learn a lot from it. I said, mate, you've got to take this kind of stuff on the chin. Doug's a young guy and it's a steep learning curve but there's no excuse not to stick with the team protocol."