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Guptill calls for player-specific rules

New Zealand opener bored at how easy it all is

Andrew Fernando

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A
Rusty Theron hit Martin Guptill with a bouncer, New Zealand v South Africa, 1st Twenty20 international, Wellington, February 17, 2012
Guptill prospects for oil between balls, to keep from falling asleep during the first T20 against South Africa © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Martin Guptill | Jesse Ryder | John Wright
Teams: New Zealand

Martin Guptill says cricket is too much of a cakewalk for him now, and has warned that unless the ICC makes the game harder, he will be forced to take drastic action to prevent boredom.

Guptill has made 499 in his last seven international innings, with six half-centuries, at an average of 99. He was also the top scorer in the HRV Cup.

In a series of angry tweets following his 78 not out against South Africa in the first Twenty20, Guptill bemoaned the ease with which he guided his team to a comfortable win, and called for "anti-me" laws, which would make the game more challenging for him.

Among his suggestions were rules that would deem him out if a spectator catches one of his sixes, claiming "it would at least force me to find the gaps in the stands every time I nonchalantly lift a good ball into the crowd", and a "six-and-out" rule, which would come into play when his mammoth hits, exceeding 125 metres, leave the stadium.

"Maybe I should also be forced to tow Jesse Ryder around when he gets injured, so that I might be slightly less of a catlike genius in the field," he said.

So frustrated had Guptill become with how good he has been at cricket recently that he toyed with the idea of playing left-handed, and reinventing himself as a fast bowler, just to make it a little tougher on himself.

"For crying out loud! I've already chopped three of my own toes off, how much more of a headstart do you need?"

New Zealand coach John Wright has backed Guptill's demands for player-specific law reform, saying cricket risks losing Guptill unless it can find a way of keeping him interested. He also revealed the lengths the New Zealand coaching staff already go to, in order to appease the batsman.

"I don't think people understand how difficult it is to keep him motivated, in the kind of form that he's in," Wright said. "We've had to come up with unorthodox disincentives, so I've told him that if he gets out in the nets, a member of his family will be kidnapped.

"It goes without saying, the hitmen I hired are still waiting for their first phone call."

Wright said he'd already threatened Guptill with having to go out on the town with Ryder if he failed to hit the stumps at fielding practice, and had even asked Tim Southee to put on his angry-boy routine during a characteristically awful spell in the hope that Guptill would cringe his way out of form.

"I mean, I had to leave him out of a Twenty20 for no reason recently, just because I wanted someone down the order to have to earn their ridiculous wages. It's been the only close game in the last three weeks."

Wright said the idea to create disincentives for Guptill was inspired by Barcelona football coach Pep Guardiola, who beheads a team-mate each time Lionel Messi goes scoreless in a match.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here. All "facts" in this article are made up, but you knew that already, didn't you?

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 16 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

very well-written & hilarious.

Posted by Simon on (February 23, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

At least this article got me off my butt to sign up and comment! Had me going.

Posted by Simon on (February 23, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

He he, just read the last line! Doh!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2012, 7:46 GMT)

Very funny. Settle down fellas its supposed to make yah laugh.

Posted by jeff on (February 23, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Who does Guptill think he is ..... Kevin Pietersen???

Posted by Rashid on (February 23, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Sorry! Not humorous at all! Guptill is finding it easy because it has indeed been easy. Just a single or a couple of good innings against SA do not qualify him to be centre of such a topic on Page 2. It is rather a shame for other New Zealanders, for not being able to take advantage of such easy conditions.

Posted by Akber on (February 23, 2012, 3:44 GMT)

Excellent... seems equally true for someone like chris gayle also...

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 23, 2012, 2:37 GMT)

@ jack_maxwell. No one is claiming hes the best going around but credit where credits due, he is having a real purple patch.

@Jay Griffis. Top score in the T20 series versus SA at an average of 75.5. Does that not count?

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 22, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Maybe Guptill should score runs against teams other than Zimbabwe if he is bored

Posted by Ravi on (February 22, 2012, 17:12 GMT)

lol,its awesome!! pleasure to read.

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