THE family of a former Irish cricket star have thanked his fans for their support following an attack that left him fighting for his life.
Jesse Ryder (28) remains "stable" in Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand, after he suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull.
The Wellington all-rounder was set upon early on Thursday after leaving a bar. Two men, aged 20 and 37, have been charged in relation to the attack.
The sportsman's mother, Heather, and his partner, Ally, also thanked police.
"Jesse will be chuffed, knowing how many people care and have reached out," they said in a statement.
"We have read many of the messages... and we are keeping them for Jesse to read when he recovers."
Mr Ryder was an international player for Ireland in 2007. He has also repres-ented New Zealand.
"All our thoughts are with former Ireland overseas player Jesse Ryder who is in intensive care in New Zealand," Cricket Ireland said.
Mr Ryder remains in an induced coma. Police said they have "no idea" of the motive for the attack. Mr Ryder was due to fly to India this week to compete in the Indian Premier League.