New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder was in a life threatening situation in hospital Thursday after being seriously beaten as he left a bar in the South Island city of Christchurch, police claimed.
The 28-year-old was in an induced coma with a fractured head and severe internal injuries, and his family were at his bedside.
The attack came just days before the Kiwi batsman was to take up a lucrative IPL contract. Ryder has a reputation of disciplinary lapses and alcohol-related events, but although he’d been drinking before the early morning attack authorities stated alcohol wasn’t an issue.
Detective senior sergeant Brian Archer claimed there’s a brief altercation involving Ryder and “two or three” people when he stepped outside the bar. Ryder then crossed the road to the local fast-food shop where he was attacked by among the people from the initial confrontation.
“The hospital advise he is in a critical condition. He is in an induced coma as a result of suffering multiple injuries,” Archer said. An eye witness, recognized only as Adam, told Fairfax Media Ryder tried to fight back as 4 guys “absolutely smashed him”. He said he wasn’t sure if the attackers were known to Ryder but stated they “damn knew who he was”.
The incident happened while Jesse Ryder was having a meeting with his Wellington teammates after earlier losing a season-ending one-day game to Canterbury.