Martin Guptill released from New Zealand central contract: Details here
Veteran batter Martin Guptill has been released from the New Zealand central contracts. He recently lost his place in both white-ball teams. Guptill was a part of New Zealand's ICC T20 World Cup 2022 squad but didn't get to play a single game in the tournament. He was also dropped for the ongoing white-ball series against India at home. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- After pacer Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham, Guptill became the third NZ player to opt out of the central contract this year.
- While the 36-year-old batter stated that he is still determined to play for New Zealand, he wants to "explore other opportunities as well".
- Like Boult, Guptill has also been told that the contracted players will be preferred for selection.
What did Guptill say?
Guptill stated that representing the Black Caps has been an honor for him. However, he is "realistic enough to consider his 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," he stated in an official statement.
A look at Guptill's international career
Guptill's current tally of 7,346 runs in 198 ODIs, at an average of 41.5, is the third highest for a Kiwi batter in the format (50s: 39, 100s: 18). With 3,531 runs in 122 games, he is NZ's highest run-getter in T20Is (50s: 20, 100s: 2). He has also played 48 Tests, scoring 2,586 runs at 29.39 (50s: 17, 100s: 3).
Second-highest individual ODI score
Guptill owns the second-highest individual score in ODI cricket, having slammed an unbeaten 163-ball 237 against West Indies in the 2015 World Cup. No other NZ batter has a double-ton in the format. India's Rohit Sharma (264) tops the list.
What did NZC chief executive say?
"We understand Martin's position. 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," NZC chief executive David White said.
Who are the others to relinquish central contracts?
Trent Boult also relinquished the NZC central contract earlier this year. Like Guptill, he was a part of the T20 WC squad but was dropped for the India series. Meanwhile, James Neesham declined a contract when offered as he had signed other deals. All-rounder Colin de Grandhomme announced his international retirement after being drafted by Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Adelaide Strikers.
Guptill expected to feature in BBL
With Guptill no longer being a centrally-contracted player, he is expected to get more active in T20 leagues across the globe. He can be a part of the upcoming BBL 2022-23, which gets underway on December 13, as a replacement player. Notably, Boult will serve Melbourne Stars in the Australian T20 competition. He will then head to the inaugural ILT20 to represent MI Emirates.