Veteran batter Martin Guptill has been released from New Zealand Cricket's (NZC) central contract, paving the way to pursue playing opportunities overseas after he recently lost his place in the white-ball teams. The 36-year-old Guptill becomes the third New Zealand player to be released from their central contract. (More Cricket News)
Guptill joins Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme as New Zealand players to be released from their playing contract this year, with the trio set to seek opportunities in T20 leagues around the world.
"We understand Martin's position," NZC chief executive David White said on Wednesday. "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 currently New Zealand's leading run-scorer in T20I cricket and third-highest in the ODI format. Guptill has more than 3,500 runs in T20 Internationals and 7,346 runs in ODIs. However, he was omitted from the New Zealand team for the T20 series against India which ended in Napier on Tuesday with the visitors winning the series 1-0 after a tie in the rain-hit third match.
Fast bowler Boult also was recently released from his central contract. He played at the T20 World Cup but was not picked for the India series. Though he is currently not part of the New Zealand squad, Guptill said he is not ready yet to retire from international cricket.
"Playing for my country has been a massive honour, and I'm grateful to everyone within the Black Caps and New Zealand Cricket 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.