New Zealand cricket hero Jesse Ryder was fighting for his life on Thursday (28Mar13) after he was savagely beaten by thugs outside a bar.

The batsman suffered horrific wounds including a fractured skull, a punctured lung, internal bleeding, and serious head injuries and was in a critical condition in an intensive care unit at a hospital in Christchurch, New Zealand as Wenn went to press.

It is believed Ryder, 28, who has played 18 Test matches and almost 60 international games for his country, was set upon by as many as four men outside a bar in the city's Merivale district on Wednesday night (27Mar13) in an unprovoked attack.

David White, chief executive of the country's New Zealand Cricket governing body, says, "We are all shocked by what has occurred and extremely concerned for Jesse. New Zealand Cricket's thoughts are with him and his family."

Police are studying Cctv footage in a bid to identify the attackers.