New Zealand batsman and Delhi Daredevils player Jesse Ryder is in an induced coma in a hospital at Christchurch, after he sustained severe head injuries in a late-night attack on Wednesday.
Ryder, 28, was out with his teammates of the Wellington provincial side at Aikman's Bar in a Christchurch suburb Merivale, following their loss to Canterbury in a 50-over match. The batsman was assaulted twice that left him with a fractured skull. The first attack took place about 12.30 am outside the bar and the second assault took place at the entrance of a car park of a McDonalds restaurant across the road. Ryder was attacked when most of his teammates in McDonalds were placing their food orders, reported ESPNcricinfo.
The cricketer is believed to have suffered a fractured skull during the second assault. He was rushed to the hospital and placed in intensive care.
During a press conference held in Christchurch, Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer confirmed that Ryder is in an induced coma after the attack.
The motive behind the attack is still not known. Police have not yet identified the attackers. They are currently reviewing the CCTV footage from Aikman's and McDonald's to check if the attackers are caught on camera. "We believe at least 10 or more people have witnessed some of the events, and we've been speaking to witnesses throughout the day," Archer told reporters during the press meet, according to ESPNcricinfo. "There are CCTV cameras in the area and we're going through the process of downloading and reviewing that footage."
Ryder, who has been battling alcohol problems, had been drinking at the time of the incident. However, the detective said that there is no evidence showing that alcohol was an aggravating factor in the attack.
The left-handed batsman was on a self-imposed exile from international cricket for the last year to address "personal issues." Despite his impressive form in domestic cricket, Ryder ruled out a return to New Zealand team. But he continued to play in the Indian Premier League. He was due to join the Delhi Daredevils team later this week to play in this year's T20 cricket scheduled to begin on 3 April in Kolkata. He was auctioned for US$260,000 to play for the team.