Jesse Ryder is moving to Dunedin.
At first that may seem a storage choice, but scratch the surface and you wonder why it did not happen some time ago. Not a bad fit.
Ryder’s issues are well documented, and his time in Wellington was mixed, and not heading in the right direction. Some run-ins in club cricket, the spotlight that is Wellington, and a local media that had, quite strangely, turned on him.
Like his stints in the IPL and playing for New Zealand, Ryder has tended to thrive well in a different yet well run set up. So what were the options? Moving back to CD was not an option, ND is also too far spread. Obviously Canterbury is obviously out of the question, and you are hardly going to avoid the sleazy fishbowl by moving to Auckland.
So enter Otago. A cricket province that has always prided itself on its family culture; a culture of hardened battlers. The perfect fit.
Remember that Otago side from the 1980s? A Bracewell family, a Blair family, Stephen Boock, Wally Lees etc. Ryder would have loved that stuff.
As it happens, Brendon McCullum had been pushing this for a couple of years, and he’s now got his man, and the Dream Team at the top of the HRV Cup order.
Some may be surprised at that; the common thinking is that Ryder was some kind of Taylor loyalist who would never move south. But those divisions were a media led hype-up; the sort of political rubbish that was a factor in driving Ryder from Wellington.
Of more relevance was the impact of Vaughan Johnson, who brought Ryder to Wellington, and Ross Dykes who knows a bit about man management. Ryder is moving into the hands of people he respects, and people who are sharp operators.
There is no guarantee this will see Ryder on some fast track to returning to international cricket; there is a lot to travel first. But he has really given himself the best chance.
And, in the meantime, how good will that Otago HRV Cup team be next season?