Having fallen out of favour in recent months, the opening hitter will look elsewhere for playing time. After losing his spot on both the white-ball and test teams, Martin Guptill became the latest New Zealand player to be released from their central contract.
Guptill was in the T20 World Cup squad in Australia but didn’t play. Finn Allen was preferred at the top of the order, and he’s been left out of the series against India.
He hasn’t retired from international cricket and wants to play again, but he’s been told contractual players will be given preference.
“Playing for my country has been an honour, and I’m grateful to the Blackcaps and NZC,” Guptill said.
“I’m realistic enough to assess my options given the situation. With this release, I can continue playing for New Zealand, explore other options, and spend more time with my family.”
At least two BBL clubs could use him as a replacement player this season.
NZC CEO David White: “We understand Martin’s perspective. He’s been a great batsman for us, but we won’t stand in his way as he pursues other possibilities.
“Martin has been a giant of the white ball, a loyal and respected Blackcap, and has earned the opportunity to finish his career on his own terms. He leaves with our blessings.”
If this is the end of Guptill’s international career, he will finish with 7346 runs at 41.73 in ODIs, third on New Zealand’s all-time list, and 3531 in T20Is, where he is first. 2016 was his last Test.
Guptill’s shift follows Boult’s this year. He participated in the T20 World Cup team but not for India. He’ll play for Melbourne Stars in the BBL and MI Emirates in ILT20.
Colin de Grandhomme retired after being drafted by Adelaide Strikers, and Jimmy Neesham declined a contract when offered the vacant place owing to previous deals.
Gary Stead, New Zealand’s head coach, acknowledged the changing T20 scene would be a challenge, but White is hopeful the game can adapt.
“Players like Martin, Trent, and Colin, with long and successful international careers, inevitably have other alternatives,” he remarked. “It’s the natural ebb and flow of sports careers.”