New Zealand veteran Martin Guptill has been released from his central contract, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Wednesday (November 23).
Guptill seems to have lost his place in both white-ball teams as New Zealand have started giving preference to their young opener Finn Allen. Notably, Guptill was part of the Black Caps squad in the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia but wasn’t given a single game. Similarly, in the recently-concluded T20I series against India, the senior opener was left out of the squad.
Guptill has not retired from international cricket and has even expressed his desire to continue playing. But the 36-year-old also admitted that he understands what the team needs and with this he will get a chance to explore other opportunities.
“Playing for my country has been a massive honour, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Blackcaps and NZC for their support. 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,” said Guptill, as quoted by Stuff.
NZC chief executive David White termed Guptill a legendary cricketer and stated that the Auckland-born had earned the right to play out his career on his own terms.
“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. 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,” said White.
If, by any means, Guptill doesn’t get to play again, he will finish his career with staggering numbers. He has scored 7346 runs in 198 ODIs, which places him third on New Zealand’s all-time list, with 18 hundreds and 39 half-centuries [including a double ton (237)] in the 50-overs format. In 122 T20Is, Guptill amassed 3531 runs – most by any New Zealander – and has two centuries and 20 fifties to his name.