New Zealand’s veteran opener Martin Guptill has opted out of his central contract in order to explore T20 avenues overseas. He became the third New Zealand player to do so after Colin de Grandhomme and Trent Boult.
Boult has been signed by the Melbourne Stars and De Grandhomme has joined the Adelaide Strikers in Australia’s T20 Big Bash League which begins next month.
36-year-old Guptill will be available to play for New Zealand if selected but said he was now free to “explore other opportunities”.
“Playing for my country has been a massive honor, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Black Caps 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,” he said.
Making his debut in 2009, Guptill has thus far made 2586 runs in 47 Tests, 7346 runs in 198 ODIs, and 3531 runs in 122 T20I matches for New Zealand.
He has a total of 23 international centuries, including the highest-ever individual score by a batter in ODI World Cup history- 237* which came against West Indies in the 2015 edition.
"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 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,” NZC chief executive David White said on Wednesday.
Martin Guptill was dropped from the New Zealand squad for the recent T20I and ODI series against India.