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New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after being attacked.
New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition after reportedly being bashed. Source: AFP
UPDATE: NEW Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition with a fractured skull after being bashed by up to four men in a late-night assault.
The middle-order batsman is understood to be in a coma with a fractured skull, a punctured lung, internal bleeding and is in intensive care at a Christchurch hospital.
A spokesman for the ambulance service that transported Ryder to hospital said he had suffered “very serious head injuries”
The attack came just days before the talented Ryder was to take up a lucrative Indian Premier League contract.
Police said in a statement they were investigating the early morning incident at a bar in Christchurch and “can confirm the incident did involve Jesse Ryder and that he is currently in Christchurch Hospital”.
Ryder, who has a history of disciplinary lapses and being involved in alcohol-related incidents, was with members of his Wellington provincial side, the Firebirds, who had earlier been beaten by Canterbury in a 50-over match.
A witness, known only as Adam, told Stuff.co.nz that Ryder had his shirt ripped off and that several men kicked and punched him as he lay on the ground at Aikman’s bar in the Christchurch suburb of Merivale.
Ryder was found lying in a bush, “shaking, vomiting and covered in blood” in the carpark of a McDonald’s restaurant across the road from the bar.
“Four dudes were just laying into him and absolutely smashing him on the ground,” Adam said.
“His shirt was ripped off and they were kicking him and punching him while he was down.”
Adam said he was not sure if the attackers were friends of Ryder, but said they “damn knew who he was”.
Ryder’s family was reported to be flying to Christchurch to be at his side and New Zealand Cricket tweeted: “The whole NZC team’s thoughts are with DijaRyder this morning.”
The burly left-hander’s manager Aaron Klee took to Twitter to thank people for their support.
“Thanks for the calls and msgs of support for Jesse. Just heading to Chch to see him,” Klee wrote.
The 28-year-old Ryder is on a self-imposed break from international cricket to address “personal issues” following a series of incidents.
However, he was continuing to play in the IPL and was due to fly out to India this weekend to play for the Delhi Daredevils, who paid US$260,000 for his services at an auction.
Last year, he took his manager and a psychologist with him to India when he played for the Pune Warriors.
Ryder last played Test cricket for the Black Caps in 2011 in their series against Australia, and last took to a one-day international field last year against South Africa.
He has a Test average of 40.93 and a highest score of 201.
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