Martin Guptill has become the 3rd Kiwi player to have opted out of New Zealand central contract this year. Guptill was part of the squad for the T20 World Cup played in Australia but did not get a game to play in the whole tournament, with team management preferring Finn Allen over him to bat at the top of the order.
Guptill was then dropped from both the T20 and ODI teams for the ongoing home series against India.
He has not retired from International cricket and hopes to play for New Zealand, but the NZC board has made it clear that preference would be given to those players who are centrally contracted.
Earlier this year Trent boult and Colin de Grandhomme also opted out of national contract to play domestic T20 competitions around the World. When James Neesham was offered the vacant contract he declined stating that he had made commitments to other offers when he was left out of the contract.
36 year old Guptill who has been an integral part of New Zealand white ball team since 2009, made request to opt out of the contract so that he can pursue playing different domestic T20 tournaments across the globe.
“Playing for my country has been a massive honour, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Black Caps 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.” he said in a New Zealand Cricket statement on Wednesday.
The veteran opening batsman has scored 7346 runs at an average of 41.73 in ODI cricket with a best of 237 not out in the 2015 World Cup.
In T20 cricket he has scored 3531 runs which is the most by any Kiwi player.
He also has the third most runs for New Zealand in ODIs.
Guptill is also one of the few batsman in the world to have scored centuries in all three formats.
“ 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 great of the white ball game, a committed and well-respected member of the Black Caps, and has earned the right to play out his career on his own terms. He leaves his contract with our best wishes,” said NZC chief executive David White.
New Zealand cricket will be naming a replacement for Guptill for the central contract soon.