New Zealand drop pair over late-night drinking antics
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell have been dropped from the New Zealand squad for the second test against India starting on Friday as punishment for going on a late-night drinking session on the eve of the first test in Auckland.
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson told reporters in Auckland on Monday that team officials had lost confidence in the pair and they would not be considered for the Wellington match, although Bracewell was already ruled out with a broken foot.
"We need to make sure that all our players prepare themselves accordingly for test cricket, and at the moment we don't have confidence that that's the case," Hesson said of the visit to an Auckland bar until the early hours of Thursday.
"Both Jesse and Doug did not prepare themselves well for the test match and we're certainly very disappointed about that.
"We're dealing with grown men. If a player was to have a beer with their meal before a game, we don't have an issue with that at all.
"But there's a big difference between that and what occurred the night before the test match."
New Zealand won the first match of the two-test series by 40 runs late on the fourth day on Sunday and Hesson was annoyed that Ryder and Bracewell's behaviour was still detracting from that performance.
"The fact that we've won a test match yesterday and the fact the first few questions are based around off-field incidents is clearly an extreme disappointment for the team," Hesson said.
"It takes away from a superb effort over the last four days."
Batsman Ryder and bowling all-rounder Bracewell had not been in the starting team for the clash at Eden Park but had been expected to be ready to play last Thursday.
Bracewell was on standby in case one of the bowlers got injured in the final warm-ups while Ryder had to be ready to come into the team for Ross Taylor, whose wife is expected to give birth to their second child this week.
Until last week's indiscretion, Ryder had been expected to be included in the starting side at the Basin Reserve for the February 14-18 clash as Taylor can not be replaced once the game started.
Hesson added that Bracewell's broken foot had meant he would not have been available for the second test anyway. New Zealand are due to announce the side on Tuesday.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is still investigating how the 23-year-old suffered the injury after he had taken a full part in training last Wednesday.
The duo have had a chequered past with cricket officials.
They were both disciplined for going to a bar on the eve of a one-day international in Napier in February 2012 and getting involved in a verbal altercation with a member of the public.
While both were injured at the time and not expected to play, the team said they had breached strict rules around recovery from injury.
Ryder went into self-imposed exile after that incident and spent almost two years away from the international game as he attempted to put his life back together off the field.
He returned to the national side last December for the limited-overs series against West Indies, having served a six-month doping ban and survived an assault that left him in a coma with serious head injuries.
Hesson said Ryder had not breached team protocols since his return to the national side until last week.
The incident was still under investigation by NZC and a decision then will be made on whether they face a code of conduct charge.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by John O'Brien)
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