New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder is in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital after suffering severe head injuries in a late-night assault outside a bar.

Radio New Zealand reported on Wednesday that Ryder was in a coma in the intensive care unit with a fractured skull, punctured lung and internal bleeding.

The hospital refused to confirm Ryder’s injuries but said his condition was listed as critical. A spokesman for the ambulance service that transported Ryder to hospital said he had suffered “very serious head injuries”

Eye witnesses said Ryder was attacked by four men outside a bar in the Christchurch suburb of Merivale. He was punched and then kicked repeatedly while lying on the ground.

Ryder had been at the bar with teammates from the Wellington cricket team, which had played in the semifinals of New Zealand’s domestic one-day competition in Christchurch earlier Wednesday.

Police confirmed they are investigating an assault and said further details would be released later Thursday.

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