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Ryder to ride on indoor cricket for comeback

UAE players’ confidence get a boost after stunning New Zealand in warm-up match

Image Credit: Courtesy: Insportz
New Zealand Test star Jesse Ryder
Gulf News

Dubai: New Zealand Test star Jesse Ryder is aiming to produce a comeback performance during the World Indoor Cricket World Cup to be held at Insportz Club from September 16 to 23. It is now nearly four years since he played for New Zealand in international cricket.

From 48 One Day internationals, Ryder has scored 1362 runs with three centuries and six half centuries. In Tests cricket too he has hit three centuries and six half centuries in his 18 Test matches where he scored 1269 runs. In fact, in January 2014 Ryder had scored the seventh fastest One Day International hundred (104) off just 46 balls against West Indies before pulling out of cricket due to personal reasons.

Ryder, whose comeback trail include five appearances in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League representing St Lucia Stars. He had also played domestic cricket in New Zealand for Central Districts last summer,

For Ryder, indoor cricket is not something new as he played it as a kid. After becoming an outdoor cricketer, especially a renowned international player, he had stopped playing indoor cricket.

“I have been playing indoor cricket since I was 14, I started playing professionally so I took seven years off. This is my first year back into it, so it is nice to make the New Zealand team, over here in Dubai,” he said soon after his arrival at the Insportz to play in a warm-up match against hosts UAE.

“It is a great little set up here with nice new courts and new pitches so it will be a bit of a challenge I think for most teams,” he remarked after a look around the venue.

New Zealand is keen to win the world title this year after having lost the World Cup final to Australia in Wellington in 2014. “I think everyone is looking forward to it, everyone has put the work in, and hopefully come Saturday and our first game, against the UAE we get a win,” said Ryder

However, UAE in their warm-up match stunned New Zealand on Monday. A delighted UAE skipper Saqib Nazir attributed the win to the hard work his team has been putting in.

“We have been training for a month now, we are not full-time professionals, but with the World Cup being hosted here in the UAE the Emirates Cricket Board has given us a huge opportunity and we want to do our best.”

Though UAE maybe short in experience they are rich in determination. “We have been telling the boys about the calibre of the teams we are competing against, and they were not sure of how we would fare against professional sides like New Zealand and Australia. For us it is totally different here, we work all day and then we come and play cricket in the evening,” said Nazir, who is a top-performer in UAE’s indoor cricket.

Talking about the victory, he said: “Frankly speaking, before the practice game we gave ourselves a 50-50 chance of winning. But after our victory against New Zealand in the first warm-up game, we know where we stand, and we think we can compete, and we want to compete.”

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AFP