Christchurch: Troubled New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder has been admitted in a hospital in a critical condition after suffering severe head injuries in a brawl outside a bar here.
Ryder was attacked by two or three people when he was leaving Aikman's Bar in the suburb of Merivale late last night and it appears that the cricketer had been assaulted twice, Christchurch Police said.
The 28-year-old is in intensive care unit with a fractured skull and is in an induced coma due to multiple injuries.
The first attack took place outside the bar where Ryder was out with his Wellington teammates after their team suffered a semifinal loss in the domestic one-day competition here earlier in the day.
Police believe that at least two people followed him across the road to the parking area of a fast-food restaurant where the second attack occurred, while his two teammates who left the bar with him were in the restaurant when he was attacked again.
In a statement, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has expressed grief over Ryder's serious condition.
"We are all shocked by what has occurred and extremely concerned for Jesse. New Zealand Cricket's thoughts are with him and his family," NZC chief executive David White said.
The New Zealand Players Association (NZPA) too were in shock over the assault.
Obviously the cricket community's very shocked at what's happened to Jesse. He's obviously in a serious condition. It's a sad day for us, a number of players around the country are in shock, our focus now is on Jesse and his well-being," Heath Mills, the CEO of the association, said.
Ryder was on a self-imposed break from international cricket since last year.
Ryder last played for New Zealand in an ODI against South Africa in February last year. He was reprimanded after that match for breaking team rules by drinking alcohol while recovering from injury.
Ryder then made himself unavailable to play for the country by turning down a national contract to deal with alcohol and fitness issues. He engaged a clinical psychologist to assist him in dealing with those problems.
Ryder was due to join the Delhi Daredevils later this week ahead of the start of the IPL season six. The Delhi franchise had paid USD 260000 for his services in the latest IPL players' auction.
Last year, Ryder took his manager and psychologist along with him to India for the IPL where he played for the Sahara Pune Warriors.