Do players off contract deserve duty of care?
As an advocate for controlled gambling, I have been watching New Zealand former Test and One Day batsman Jesse Ryder tweet away about his sports bets throughout the whole NRL season.
I’ve even been tempted to say, “maybe you should keep your multis to yourself,” as not to encourage, or even worse, look like he is promoting gambling.
But if anyone is aware of Ryder’s reputation, Jesse does what Jesse wants.
In the cricket world, Ryder is what you would call the black sheep (excuse the Kiwi pun). His most recent incident saw him dropped from the One Day side back in March for breaching team protocol by drinking after the Kiwi’s second One Day match against South Africa.
In 2008 injured himself when he punched a window in a hotel toilet, and in 2010 he was fined and warned for his rowdy behaviour at an indoor cricket tournament.
And so Ryder was stood down from International cricket. Following his most recent misdemeanour Ryder spoke out saying he may have a problem with alcohol.
“I think throughout that last month after I left the Black Caps, the drinking got real bad and I would start getting on the p*** on a Friday night and I’d still be going on Sunday.
“I was just hammering it and it did get to a point where I think I needed to hit rock bottom to see how bad things actually were,” Ryder said.
On a positive note he recently tweeted he is on track with his alcohol problem, “Day 150 off the booze #KeepGoingStrong”.
So with Ryder clearly having an addictive ‘all or nothing’ personality, why isn’t anyone stepping in and questioning him about his gambling?
“Checked the tab account and was happy to see 400 in there thank u Welly Lions too easy,” one tweet stated.
“7+ halftime an (sic) 13+ plus full-time thanks lions easy 350 in the back pocket,” he wrote soon after.
“Big bets on the league 2 day looking to have 2000 in the account at the end of the nite.”
Hello? New Zealand Cricket? Are you there?! How about checking up on one of your best batsman who is aiming for an international return to summer cricket?
When David White, chief executive of NZC was questioned if he was concerned, he was all too quick to distance himself from any impending issues.
“It’s important to point out that he is not contracted to New Zealand Cricket,” White said.
“In saying that, we know he’s been working very hard in preparation for the new season with the Wellington Firebirds.”
Basically, not NZ Cricket’s problem.
Ok, well if not them, where is his manager, or anyone within the NZC media? Is there any guidance being offered?
I for one am tired of seeing some of our finest athletes make life changing choices, only to then be in far too deep with no support.
Now am I accusing Ryder of having a gambling problem? No. But I think anyone who is clearly sharing the fact they have a strong interest in sports results for their bet’s sake needs to be addressed.
I sadly know the signs all too well.