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Former Ireland cricket star Jesse Ryder gives 'thumbs up' as men arrested over attack

Ryder, who represented Ireland as an ‘overseas’ player in 2007, was attacked by a group of ‘two or three’ men.

FORMER IRELAND CRICKET international Jesse Ryder’s condition has reportedly improved, with the  New Zealand native giving a ‘thumbs up’ signal to family in hospital last night.

Ryder, who represented Ireland as an ‘overseas’ player in 2007, was attacked by a group of ‘two or three’ men in the early hours of Thursday morning and had been placed in an induced coma in a Christchurch hospital after suffering a fractured skull and punctured lung. He has since been able to communicate briefly with family and medical staff.

Police have arrested a 20-year-old man and a 37-year-old relative with the assault. They are due to appear in a Christchurch court next Thursday.

According to manager Aaron Klee, Ryder — who has made 18 Test appearances for the Black Caps — is in a stable condition but remains in intensive care, and requires assistance breathing. The extent of any damage caused by the head injuries remains unknown.

“Jesse will be chuffed knowing how many people care and have reached out, including the huge number of cricket fans and players from around the world,” Ryder’s family said in a statement.

“We have read many of the messages online over the past 24 hours and we are keeping them for Jesse to read when he recovers. Thank you to the Christchurch police for the great work in bringing the people responsible for the heinous crime committed on our Jesse.

“Many thanks to New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Wellington for their ongoing support.”

Ryder, who in March last year began a self-imposed break from international cricket for personal reasons, was due to join up with the Delhi Daredevils next week ahead of the 2013 Indian Premier League season.

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