Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition in a Christchuch hospital after being assaulted. He was first attacked outside a bar and subsequently after moving on to a fast food outlet.
He is understood to have suffered a fractured skull and a collapsed lung. An eyewitness account reported by Fairfax Media claims he was attacked by up to four people who continued to kick and beat Ryder as he fell to the ground.
He was subsequently taken to hospital where he was admitted into intensive care and placed in an induced coma. News reports this morning state that his team-mates have been informed that he has not suffered brain damage.
Ryder had been in action yesterday playing for Wellington and was shortly due to leave for India to play for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
His manager, Aaron Klee, tweeted: "Thanks for the calls and msgs of support for Jesse. Just heading to Chch to see him."
Klee was travelling to Christchurch alongside New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White, Cricket Wellington's Peter Clinton and New Zealand Cricket Players' Association representative Heath Mills.
White said: "We are all shocked by what has occurred and extremely concerned for Jesse. New Zealand Cricket’s thoughts are with him and his family."
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key added: "It sounds quite sinister to me. I mean the fact that there would be four guys attacking him, the media reports I saw looked somewhat unprovoked and there must be something behind that.
"The assault seems very vicious so obviously we wish him a speedy recovery and I'm sure the police will be working to get to the bottom of it."
Ryder, who has played 18 Tests, 39 One-Day Internationals and 20 Twenty20 Internationals for the Black Caps, has been away from international cricket since 2012 as he battles a long-standing alcohol problem.
Although he and his team were drinking in Christchurch, his drinking is not thought to have been a contributing factor to the events last night.
© Cricket World 2013
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.