New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder was in an induced coma at a Christchurch hospital after suffering serious head injuries in an altercation outside a local bar, police said on Thursday (March 28th).

New Zealand Police said Ryder, 28, had been rushed to Christchurch Hospital after suffering the injuries early on Thursday morning and remained there in a critical condition.

"Following that incident Ryder and two other persons walked across the road to McDonald's where his Wellington team mates had been purchasing some food a second altercation has taken place at the entrance to McDonald's involving one of the males from the earlier group. in that incident it appears that Jesse has been the victim of a serious assault and has suffered head injuries as a result," Detective Senior Sergeant Brian Archer told a nationally televised news conference.

Local media reports said Ryder had suffered a fractured skull and a collapsed lung. Archer would not confirm if the injuries were life-threatening.

Ryder, who had been drinking at the bar with team mates from Wellington, had been involved in two incidents, the first outside a bar with three other people.

Two of the three then followed him across the road to a nearby fast food restaurant, where one of them apparently assaulted the cricketer, Archer said. It was unclear whether the assault had been provoked.

Ryder, one of the most gifted batsmen in New Zealand, was in Christchurch playing for Wellington against Canterbury in the semi-final of the domestic one-day competition on Wednesday (March 27).

In 2008, Ryder needed stitches in his hand after he punched a window in a Christchurch bar, an injury that kept him out of the game for several months.

He has also been in trouble for turning up to training still affected by a heavy drinking session and was reprimanded by governing body New Zealand Cricket last year after he and fellow New Zealand international Doug Bracewell were involved in a verbal altercation with bar patrons in Napier.

Following the Napier incident, Ryder voluntarily stood down from international selection to address his issues with alcohol.

Archer said he did not think that alcohol was a "contributing factor" in the altercation on Thursday.

An aggressive batsman with a superb eye and delicate touch, Ryder has made 1,269 runs in 18 tests at an average of 40.93 with a highest score of 201 and 1,100 runs in 39 one-day internationals at 34.37.

Presented by Adam Justice