Big Update: Martin Guptill released from New Zealand's central contract after omission from India's T20I series
New Zealand's star batter Martin Guptill has been released from the central contract of the board after getting snubbed in the just concluded T20I series against India. The release could mark the end of ace batter's international career.
Guptill, the New Zealand's top run-scorer in the shortest format of the game and third-highest in ODIs, has been out of favour with selectors who opted for rising star Finn Allen against India and at the recent World Cup in Australia.
Guptill didn't play in any of the six matches of the recently concluded T20 World Cup.
The 36-year-old opening batter has been a fixture in New Zealand white ball squads for the best part of 14 years. Following discussions with NZC, it was agreed Guptill’s request for a release should be accepted, effective immediately.
However, Guptill has emphasised he is not retiring from international cricket and still wishes to be considered for national 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 BLACKCAPS 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 a team sport.”
Guptill said playing for the BLACKCAPS 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.”