Martin Guptill’s central contract with New Zealand Cricket has been terminated so that he can pursue other possibilities.
The 36-year-old opening batsman has been a staple in Black Caps, white ball squads, for the past 14 years, but he did not participate in the recently concluded T20 World Cup and has been omitted from the current T20 and ODI series against India.
After close consultation with NZC, it was agreed that Guptill’s request for a release should be granted immediately.
Guptill, New Zealand’s leading T20 run-scorer, third in ODIs, and third on the global all-time T20 list, has stated that he is not retiring from international cricket and would like to be reconsidered for Black Caps selection when available.
NZC, for its part, has informed him that, while he will remain eligible for selection, preference will be given to players with central or domestic contracts.
New Zealand board issues statement on release of Martin Guptill
“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 Black Caps, and has earned the right to play out his career on his own terms.
“He leaves his contract with our best wishes.”
Guptill is indeed the third Black Caps player to want a release this season, following Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme, although White has stated that he is satisfied with the current contractual and selection system.
Guptill stated that playing for the Black Caps remained his ultimate objective, as it has throughout his cricketing career. He also wanted to play cricket at the best level possible, wherever and for whomever that might be.
“Playing for my country has been a massive honor, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Black Caps 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.”
In due order, a replacement for Guptill’s central contract vacancy will be named.