5 biggest controversies in New Zealand cricket

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Jesse Ryder has been involved in a series of alcohol-related incidents
S Samaddar
Modified 29 Jun 2018
Top 5 / Top 10

One cricketing nation that is hardly ever associated with controversies is New Zealand and over the course of their history, the Kiwis have almost always been regarded as a non-controversial side.

That may be true but it is also hard for a team to play international cricket for so many years and not be embroiled in some controversies.

Like so many other cricket teams in the world, New Zealand have also had their fair share of controversies over the past decades and many of them will forever be remembered for being inglorious episodes in the history of a proud cricketing nation.

That being said, it is also important to point out that New Zealand’s history is not nearly as chequered as those of some other cricketing nations.

However, it will still be interesting to have a look at some of the biggest controversies that have plagued New Zealand cricket in its history.

#5 Jesse Ryder and the bottle

Although it is true that a roaring drinking culture existed in top-level cricket for a long time, modern cricketers are a completely different bunch. Although they might enjoy the odd drink, they generally stay away from it simply due to the fitness demands of the modern game.

One of the biggest exceptions to that rule is New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder, who has been involved in a series of alcohol-related incidents and eventually, his attachment to the bottle completely derailed his career.

His problems with alcohol first surfaced in the public domain in 2008, when he was injured while trying to break the window of a toilet in a bar in Christchurch.


The team was at the bar to celebrate a series win against England. It affected his cricket and in 2009, the cricket board had to issue a statement confirming that Ryder had given up on alcohol altogether.

Even Ross Taylor stated that the team will support Ryder in his quest to kick the habit. However, none of it helped in any way and he lurched from one alcohol-fuelled misdemeanor to another.

The final straw came in 2013 when Ryder was assaulted outside a bar in Christchurch and had to be put into a coma.

He was a hugely talented batsman but his problem with the bottle remains one of the most sordid and controversial episodes in New Zealand’s cricket history. 

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Published 29 Jun 2018, 22:44 IST
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