New Zealand cricketer in induced coma

New Zealand's Jesse Ryder walks off after being dismissed during their first test cricket match...

New Zealand's Jesse Ryder walks off after being dismissed during their first test cricket match against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane December 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Jason O'Brien)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

A 20-year-old man has been charged with assault in connection with the brutal beating of New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder.

The 28-year-old Ryder, who plays for the Wellington Firebirds and was in the process of moving to a Premier League team in India, was beaten outside Aikman’s Bar in Christchurch Wednesday night. He suffered severe head injuries and is in critical condition in an induced coma at Christchurch Hospital.

Christchurch police said they arrested the 20-year-old Friday and added there is a second person of interest they are investigating.

The suspect in custody will appear in a Christchurch District Court on April 4.

According to Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer, Ryder had been celebrating the end of the season with his Wellington teammates when he was confronted by a group of men outside the bar.

Ryder then walked across the street to a McDonald’s restaurant, where his friends were getting something to eat, when he was jumped.

Christchurch cops urged the involved parties to come forward.

“We will be looking for them,” he said. “So rather than wait for a knock on the door, why don’t they come and see us.”


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