New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has released Martin Guptill from the national men’s central contract, the country’s board announced. The news surfaced after the veteran opener was not included in the T20I and ODI series against India. Guptill also didn’t play a single match in the T20 World Cup on Australian soil as the Black Caps preferred Finn Allen over him. Guptill became the third player to back out of the central contract after fast bowler Trent Boult and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme.
In a statement confirming the same, NZC wrote: “Following discussions with NZC, it was agreed Guptill’s request for a release should be accepted, effective immediately. 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.”
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Martin Guptill, New Zealand’s fifth-highest run-scorer in international cricket, said that he took the decision to “explore other opportunities” in different leagues around the world.
New Zealand Cricket has agreed to release @Martyguptill from his central contract so he can pursue playing opportunities elsewhere. https://t.co/C1vhAtj4Qz
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) November 22, 2022
As per the quotes in India Today, Marin Guptill said, “Playing for my country has been a massive honor, 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.”
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The replacement of the 36-year-old Guptill in the central contract will be announced in due course. Guptill is also the leading run-getter for the Kiwis in T20Is, as he has amassed 3531 runs from 122 matches at an average of 31.81 and a strike-rate of 135.70 with two centuries and 20 half-centuries to show for his efforts.