England international Jade Dernbach and Australia's Evan Gulbis were released from their contracts by Wellington following a late night out on the eve of the match against Central Districts in Nelson on December 18. The pair were not considered for selection for Thursday's match against Auckland.
"Everyone's disappointed. We expect all of our cricketers to prepare in a professional way for a match and at all other times, training and recovery and any other requirements," Cricket Wellington chief executive Peter Clinton said. "So we're all disappointed and none more so I'd imagine than the players involved.
"They were both not considered for selection for yesterday's game because we were unhappy about how they prepared for the Nelson match. He [Dernbach] wasn't selected in the travelling 12 for Auckland so, as I understand it, he went away yesterday evening, considered his options and came back this morning and said in the circumstances 'I'm looking for a release to return to England.' We gave that some thought and decided that was a fair request and probably a good outcome for everybody."
Gulbis was on a short-term contract with Wellington and the match against Auckland would have been his last. Dernbach, however, was signed for the duration of the tournament, his second stint with the team.
In Nelson, Dernbach returned figures of 1-37 in his four overs while Gulbis went wicketless for 37 runs in three overs as Wellington lost by nine runs. In the current Super Smash season, Gulbis scored 28 runs and took one wicket in three matches, while Dernbach finished with four wickets in four appearances.