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Guptill released from New Zealand central contract

The opening batter has lost his spot in ODIs and T20s over recent months and will now explore league opportunities

Martin Guptill brings up his 18th ODI hundred, Ireland vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Dublin, July 15, 2022

There is a chance Martin Guptill has played his last game for New Zealand  •  Getty Images

Martin Guptill has become the latest New Zealand player to be released from their central contract after he recently lost his place in both white-ball teams.
Guptill was part of the T20 World Cup squad in Australia but did not play during the tournament with Finn Allen preferred at the top of the order and was left out altogether for the ongoing series against India.
He has not retired from international cricket and has stated a desire to play again, but as with Trent Boult he has been told preference will be given to those within the contracted set-up.
"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. "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."
It's understood that he could be in the frame for a BBL stint as a replacement player with at least two clubs looking for reinforcements ahead of the season.
"We understand Martin's position," NZC chief executive David White said . "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 Blackcaps, and has earned the right to play out his career on his own terms. He leaves his contract with our best wishes."
If this does prove the end of Guptill's international career he will finish with 7346 runs at 41.73 in ODIs, which currently places him third on New Zealand's all-time list with their highest individual score of 237 not out, and 3531 in T20Is where he sits comfortably at the top. He played the last of his 47 Tests back in 2016.
Guptill's move follows that of Boult who relinquished his central contract earlier this year. He, too, was part of the T20 World Cup squad but has not been picked to face India. He has an upcoming deal with Melbourne Stars in the BBL before heading to the ILT20 with MI Emirates.
Colin de Grandhomme also announced his retirement after being drafted by Adelaide Strikers while Jimmy Neesham declined a contract when he was offered the vacant spot due to existing deals he had signed when off the list.
After the T20 World Cup, head coach Gary Stead said that the evolving landscape of T20 leagues would be a challenge for New Zealand but White is confident the game can adapt.
"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," he said. "It's just part of the natural ebb and flow of individual careers within team sport."