Martin Guptill, New Zealand's T20I top run-getter, released from central contract with immediate effect

Published on Nov 23, 2022 08:05 AM IST

Guptill, New Zealand’s leading T20 run-scorer and the third-highest in the ODI format, has emphasised he is not retiring from international cricket and still wishes to be considered for selection when available.

File photo of New Zealand opener Martin Guptill(REUTERS)
File photo of New Zealand opener Martin Guptill(REUTERS)

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill has been released from the central contract with immediate effect following discussions, announced the New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday. Guptill, a pillar in New Zealand's white-ball cricket for more than a decade, did not manage to break into the XI in the T20 World Cup in Australia as Kane Williamson and Co. preferred to go with the dashing Finn Allen. Guptill was subsequently not considered for the three T20Is and as many ODIs home series against India.

Guptill, New Zealand’s leading T20 run-scorer and the third-highest in the ODI format, has emphasised he is not retiring from international cricket and still wishes to be considered for selection when available.

For its part, NZC has made it clear to him that, while he would remain eligible for selection, preference would continue to be given to those players with central or domestic contracts.

“We understand Martin’s position,” said NZC chief executive David White. “He’s been a fantastic batsman for us for a long period of time, and we certainly don’t wish to stand in his way as he explores other opportunities.

“Martin’s been a giant of the white ball game, a committed and well-respected member of the BLACKCAPS, and has earned the right to play out his career on his own terms.

“He leaves his contract with our best wishes.”

Guptill is the third New Zealand player to request a release this year, after Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme, but Mr White said he was comfortable with the existing contracting and selection system.

“Players such as Martin, Trent and Colin, with long and successful international track-records, inevitably end up with alternative playing options at this stage of their careers, and we respect that.

“It’s just part of the natural ebb and flow of individual careers within team sport.”

Guptill said playing for New Zealand remained his ultimate goal, as it had been for his entire cricketing career.

However, he also wanted to continue playing cricket at the highest level possible – wherever, and for whoever, that might be.

“Playing for my country has been a massive honour, and I’m grateful to everyone within the BLACKCAPS and NZC for their support,” he said.

“But, equally, I’m realistic enough to understand the need to consider my options in the current circumstances.

“With this release, I’m still available for New Zealand, I have the chance to explore other opportunities, and I also get to spend more time with my family – which is important.”

A replacement to fill Guptill’s central contract vacancy will be named in due course.

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