'Bad boy' of Kiwi cricket Ryder reveals his untamed past

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Wellington, Jan.31 (ANI): New Zealand Cricket's "bad boy" Jesse Ryder has revealed that his wild childhood has been responsible for his sometimes self-destructive behaviour.

In an exclusive interview, the 25-year-old Black Cap says he was raised with little control after his parents split early in his life and his father walked out on him when he was just 14-years-old.

"I haven't ever really had boundaries or rules set in place for me, even when I was a young fella," Ryder told Sunday News, at his home in Lower Hutt.

"Growing up, I basically just did what I wanted to do. So, it has been really hard to change the way I do things."

He was moved around the Wairarapa and finally settled in Napier with dad Peter.

"I didn't really have the best upbringing in Napier because my old man was always going out and coming in late," Ryder said.

"My mate and I would just stay at home on our own at least two or three times a week just playing PlayStation or backyard cricket. My dad would turn up in the early hours of the morning."

Then he was left on his own when his father suddenly moved to Australia.

"Dad bounced when I was about 14; he just took off man. He just dropped me off at a mate's one day and said he'd see me in a week. He never came back.

"That's probably where that rebel streak and badness comes from. I just didn't have any boundaries once he left."

Bouncing around friends' places and sleeping on their couches, he started partying and drinking, and playing sport.

"I started playing a lot of indoor cricket... and we were doing a lot of road trips. I was always drinking with the boys in the team and that's about the point in my life where it all started I guess," Ryder said.

It was also the point where the rare cricketing ability that would take him to the very top of the game began to blossom.

He notched a century in the 4th form at Napier Boys, top scored with 272 for the college and was propelled into the Central Districts team and on to the Black Caps.

Even with the injuries and controversies that have marked his two-year international spell, he has stamped himself as one of the world's premier batsmen.

Last year, in front of a home crowd at Napier, Ryder scored 201 in the second test against India. His 271-run partnership with Ross Taylor was a fourth-wicket record for New Zealand.

Ryder also blasted 105 runs off 72 balls against India for the third-fastest one day international century for New Zealand.

As he began hitting the headlines, his dad attempted to re-establish contact, Ryder said. "I had the odd call which cracked me up. I was basically waiting for it to happen."

Ryder said one of their chats included a request from his father along the lines of: "Hey mate, can I borrow a hundred bucks here. I was just like, 'Nah mate'."

His father has told him he'll return from Australia. "I won't believe that until I see it," Ryder said. "I talk to him every now and then when he rings but I don't go out of my way to call him."

His mother has remarried and lives in Northland. He sees her a couple of times a year.

Ryder has addressed his unsettled upbringing and his still fraught relationship with his dad, in counselling sessions over the last months. That and the passage of time is helping him come to terms with his past. (ANI)

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