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Roughed Ryder eyes Black Caps

Troubled New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder resumed his cricket career on Monday, targeting a return to the Black Caps after a tumultuous year that included a drugs ban and a near-fatal beating.

Ryder linked up with his new domestic team Otago Volts for the first time after serving a six-month ban for testing positive to banned substances contained in a weight-loss supplement.

He aims to play in the Volts' season opener against his former team Wellington Firebirds at the weekend, with the longer-term aim of returning to the New Zealand side for the coming home series against the West Indies and India.

''My main goal is to push for the Black Caps again,'' Ryder said.

''All going well, I'd like to push for the West Indies tour.

''But, definitely, the main aim is to try and earn a call-up in time for that Indian tour if they don't pick me for the West Indies tour.''

The West Indies play three Tests in New Zealand from December 3 with the Black Caps hosting India in January-February.

Ryder is one of New Zealand's best batting talents, averaging 40.93 in 18 Tests, but his career has been marred by disciplinary lapses, off-field problems and struggles with his fitness. The 29-year-old went into exile from international cricket in February 2012, saying he needed to sort out personal issues.

He appeared to be making progress and was set to take up a lucrative Indian Premier League contract in March before he was assaulted outside a bar in Christchurch. Ryder was put into an induced coma with a fractured skull.

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