New Zealand Cricket on Wednesday confirmed that Martin Guptill has become the latest player to be released from their central contract. The 36-year-old, who was part of New Zealand’s squad in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup in Australia, recently lost his place in both white-ball teams.
Martin Guptill made the request to New Zealand Cricket to terminate his country’s central contract so that he can ‘pursue playing opportunities elsewhere’, the board announced on Wednesday. The Kiwi opener, who is also the highest run-getter for New Zealand in the T20I format and third highest in ODIs, did not play a single match during the recent World Cup in Australia, and later on, was not picked in New Zealand’s squad for both limited-overs series against India as well.
"Playing for my country has been a massive honour, and I'm grateful to everyone within the Blackcaps and NZC for their support," Guptill said in a statement. "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."
Guptill became the third player to request a release this year from New Zealand’s central contract, the first two being Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme.
Meanwhile, NZC mentioned that they will soon announce Guptill’s replacement in the central contract.
"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,” said NZC chief executive David White in a statement.
"...Players such as Martin, Trent, and Colin, with long and successful international track-records, inevitably end up with alternative playing options at this stage of their careers, and we respect that. It's just part of the natural ebb and flow of individual careers within team sport."