'Still get hate mails': Guptill on 'lucky' Dhoni run out in 2019 WC | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'Still get plenty of hate mails': 'Retired' Guptill on 'lucky' Dhoni run out in 2019 WC that broke billion Indian hearts

ByAratrick Mondal, Dehradun
Nov 26, 2023 02:33 PM IST

Guptill also revealed that he no longer remains an active international cricketer, but added that he isn't yet done with cricket in New Zealand.

Martin Guptill is a batting icon in white-ball cricket in New Zealand, but in this part of the world, he will be long remembered as the cricketer who broke a billion Indian dreams with what he now recollects as a sheer throw of "luck". On the tense evening of July 10, 2019, Guptill inflicted a stellar run out to dismiss MS Dhoni in the World Cup semifinal clash between India and New Zealand which later turned out to be the final international game of the legendary cricketer. And even though Guptill has long moved on from what was a game-changing moment in that rain-affected clash, with only a vague recollection of it, the former New Zealand cricketer revealed that he continues to receive plenty of hate mail from Indian fans.

Martin Guptill opens up on 'lucky' MS Dhoni run out in 2019 WC which broke billion Indian hearts
Martin Guptill opens up on 'lucky' MS Dhoni run out in 2019 WC which broke billion Indian hearts

After India lost Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya successively, Dhoni had combined with Jadeja to revive India's innings in their chase of 240. Taking it cautiously against the New Zealand attack, seventh-wicket partnership stretched to 116 runs off 17.2 overs before Jadeja was undone by a slower delivery from Trent Boult.

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It was Dhoni all alone with India's tail exposed. But with Dhoni there was always hope. And he responded to the dismissal by smashing Lockie Ferguson for a six which reduced the equation to 25 off 10 balls. But all came crashing down in a moment of brilliance, or "luck", from Guptill. Ferguson banged a short ball against the veteran wicketkeeper-batter, who was a tad late in responding to it and could only flap it away behind square. There was no fielder there and Dhoni risked for a second run. Guptill, who was stationed at fine leg, sprinted in, picked up the ball and nailed the stumps with supreme precision. Dhoni was just inches short of the crease when the ball castled down the stumps.

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Speaking on the sidelines of the Dehradun leg of the ongoing 2023 Legends League Cricket, Guptill, who is part of the Urbanisers Hyderabad squad, revealed that he knew there was no chance of a direct throw with only one and a half stumps to aim, and hence summed it up as pure luck.

"It's one of those things that happened so quickly in the moment. All I remember was I saw the ball go up and I then I thought, oh no, it's coming sort of more towards me. So I put the skates on to get on with that run. I knew there was no chance of a throw at the stumps, but I just tried to have a shot and only had one and a half stumps to aim at and I just got lucky. The stars aligned, and it was a perfect throw," he said in response to a query from Hindustan Times.

India lost their remaining two wickets in a space of six more deliveries as New Zealand beat India to make the 2019 final. But more than India's loss, world cricket remembers that game as Dhoni's last international appearance in his career. He retired a year later, in August 2020, although he remains an active cricketer in the Indian Premier League where he captains for Chennai Super Kings.

When told that it was a heartbreaking moment for the whole of India, Guptill smiled and said that he still gets hate messages from fans. "In other words, the whole of India doesn't like me. I get plenty of hate mails from there," he added.

Martin Guptill retires from international cricket

Even until the 2023 World Cup Guptill remained in contention to return to the New Zealand ODI side despite coach Gary Stead hinting in November 2022 that his era had ended with the rise of Finn Allen. Yet, weakened by the retirement of Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson being prone to injuries, former New Zealand cricket Ian Smith had backed Guptill for a place in the World Cup team despite the veteran opener being left out of the white-ball side that toured India earlier in January.

Later in August, bouncing back from a slump across the Caribbean Premier League and Major League Cricket, Guptill had notched up an unbeaten 58-ball 100 in 2023 CPL, and admitted that he is "still looking for that (New Zealand) call." But the highest run-getter from the 2015 World Cup was never recalled.

In response to a query from Hindustan Times on Saturday, Guptill revealed that he no longer remains an active international cricketer, but added that he isn't yet done with cricket in New Zealand.

He said: "No, I'm not an active international cricketer. I haven't finished cricket in New Zealand yet. But yes, I'm retired."

"For me, it was always going to be retire after the 23 World Cup and then look to play a few leagues around the world and see the way things transpired back home," he later added.

'Happy days at LLC'

Having bid adieu to international cricket, Guptill remains keen to be part of more T20 franchise leagues. He made his debut in LLC the 2023 edition for Urbanisers Hyderabad where he scored a 28-ball 46 in their win against Southern Superstars in Ranchi last week.

"It's my first time. It's going all right so far. We had two from two. Happy days. I was able to just start playing leagues a lot earlier than what I ideally wanted to, so it's been nice to be able to play leagues around the world and so far and to be here at Legends League, it's been a lot of fun so far, and we're into it, so looking forward to the rest of it," he said.

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