Wellington, New Zealand: New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder made a remarkable comeback to first-class cricket, hitting a century in his first innings since March, a week after the expiry of a doping ban and seven months since he was the victim of a near-fatal assault.
Ryder scored 117 from 164 balls for his new province Otago against his former team Wellington on Monday, the second day of a first-class match at the Basin Reserve. After resuming at 48 not out, Ryder reached his 14th first-class hundred from 151 balls with 19 fours.
Ryder was banned for six month in April after testing positive for two banned substances contained in an over-the-counter weight-loss product. In March he was assaulted after leaving a bar in Christchurch and was placed in an induced coma while recovering from serious head and lung injuries.
The 29-year-old Ryder has scored three centuries in 18 tests for New Zealand. He last played for the Black Caps in a limited-overs international against South Africa in February, 2012 after which he was censured for drinking alcohol while injured.
He has since made himself unavailable for international selection while tackling fitness and personal problems.
Ryder has indicated he is now interested in returning to the New Zealand team and could be available for its home test series against the West Indies in December.