Jessie’s non-comeback

Aaron Klee is Jesse Ryder’s manager. That is not like being Mike Hussey or AB de Villiers’ manager. It comes with special tasks. This week he had to write a detailed e-mail explaining why one of the most talented batsman ever born in New Zealand, who has been picking up domestic attacks and tossing them like chicken wings, won’t be coming back to international cricket.

“What?

Jesse has decided that he’s not ready to return to the Blackcaps yet.”

No, no, no, no, no, hell, no. Come on. He must be ready, there’s not an inch of New Zealand he hasn’t flayed a cricket ball to. Mothra wouldn’t be able to cause this much destruction.

“Why?

Jesse is committed to seeing through the plan that has so far been successful.”

This is a T20 world, so this Test match solution to Jesse’s problems seems historic. Surely after one good performance and no off-field indiscretions in three days he should have been out there in the next few days. Time is money, people.

“When will he return?

No decisions have been made on that. It would not be appropriate to try and put a date on a return to the Blackcaps.”

That seems intentionally vague, it’s like saying when the stream runs dry, or on a Tuesday. We need something firm, well I do, so I can plan the first annual Jesse Ryder day. A day when Jessophiles from around the world can meet and wear bandanas as they recreate their favourite innings.

“Does he want to play for the Blackcaps?

Yes. Jesse has remained committed to NZC all the way through.”

Can’t help but notice that Aaron forgot to capitalise BLACKCAPS the way NZC do. Now this could have been an error on his part, or he might be actually be slipping a message, something to the more perceptive of us. The NZC is broken, perhaps. Or capital letters are a stupid idea.

“Will he be available for the tour to England?

Jesse wants to keep to his original plan and the decision to take 12 months out of international cricket. That decision was made last June, so it is unlikely that he will deviate from his plan.”

What is it with cricketers and their milestones. A well-played seven months is just as helpful in the right conditions as a solid 12 months. The New Zealand team might have the world’s best BJ Watling, but a BJ Watling only gets you so far, they need Jesse, we all do.

“Will he play in the IPL?

Jesse’s name is on the auction list. We don’t know if he will be picked up or not.”

Oh, he’ll be picked. Right now there are airline moguls doing overtime, Bollywood actors shooting breakfast cereal ads and Indian conglomerates selling off subsidiaries just to afford him. They want/need him in the IPL. They’re only human.

“Is he going to play county cricket?

Don’t know. There are opportunities to play T20 but no plans have been made”

As a person who lives in the UK, I would personally prefer for Ryder to come to the county cricket. I am sure the ECB would also want Jesse in county cricket. It is what the English domestic game needs, a big-swinging marquee player.

“Is his decision based on the recent issues with the captaincy?

No.”

I see that Klee did not rule out a Jesse run for the leadership. It is possible that all this leaving the game was just a tactic from Jesse to let the team eat itself and then for him to stroll back as captain. Come on, there isn’t a part of you who doesn’t want to see Jesse as New Zealand captain.

“Why is he announcing this before the meeting on Tuesday?

The meeting was never about selection or availability.”

The way things get confused at NZC, he was probably just trying to make sure he wasn’t going to be sacked by accident.

“Why isn’t he just playing T20 given his form for Wellington in the HRV Cup?

Whilst he was awesome for the Firebirds, there are still things he wants to work on. “

He is awesome.

“What are the personal goals he wants to work on?

These are private and will remain so.”

I bet at least one of his goals is improving his mad DJing skillz.

So it’s not good news. Not yet. But seven months ago when Jesse walked away from international cricket it wasn’t even clear if he’d ever come back, or even find his old magic.

Since then he has won a boxing match, stayed out of trouble and made a hell of a bunch of runs. The most important thing is him working on his personal stuff and making sure that if he ever does come back, he stays back.

Or if he doesn’t ever come back to international cricket, that he’s ok with that too.

We can wait, Jesse.

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