21 Dec 2013

Ryder returns to Black Caps

12:12 pm on 21 December 2013

The aggressive batsman Jesse Ryder has returned to the New Zealand cricket side after a doping suspension and an absence of nearly two years.

Ryder's been named in the limited overs squad for matches against West Indies later this month.

The 29-year-old last played for New Zealand in February last year after a self-enforced break following off-field disciplinary issues.

Earlier this year he served a six-month doping ban and survived an assault that left him in a coma with serious head injuries.

Ryder moved south to Otago earlier this year to rejuvenate his career and has been in strong form in first class cricket, scoring two centuries and two scores in the 80s to average more than 60 in four games this season.

He is likely to open the batting with Martin Guptill, who has recovered from ankle and finger injuries that ruled him out of the recent series in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Luke Ronchi has been handed the wicketkeeping gloves after coach Mike Hesson said 32-year-old captain Brendon McCullum, who has been battling a long-term back injury, was too valuable a player to continue to occupy the gruelling position.

Three all-rounders, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Colin Munro have been included in the side with Nathan McCullum the only specialist spinner, though his batting has been valuable to the lower order in recent seasons.

The first match of the series is on Boxing Day at Eden Park in Auckland, with the second game in Napier three days later.

Selectors will re-assess the squad after the game at McLean Park as they continue to build their team for the 2015 World Cup that New Zealand will co-host with Australia.

New Zealand one-day squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan