Veteran batsman Martin Guptill has become the third experienced player to be released from his New Zealand contract so he can explore opportunities to play in T20 leagues around the world.
Guptill joins bowler Trent Boult (33) and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme (36) who both also recently asked to have their New Zealand Cricket contracts cancelled.
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.
Like Boult and De Grandhomme, Guptill (36) will still 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 honour, and I’m grateful to everyone within the Black Caps for their support,” he added. “I’m realistic enough to understand the need to consider my options.”
Guptill has played international cricket since 2009 and scored more than 2,500 Test runs.
But the power hitter was at his best in the white ball game.
He has made more than 7,000 runs in 198 ODIs with a best of 237*, the second-highest individual score in history.
In T20Is he has smacked 3,531 runs in 122 matches, with a best of 105.
Guptill was part of the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad that reached the semi-finals in Australia earlier this month but did not play, with 23-year-old Finn Allen preferred at the top of the order.
Guptill was then dropped for the current T20I and ODI home series against India.
“Players such as Martin, Trent and Colin, with long and successful international track records, inevitably end up with alternative options,” said New Zealand Cricket’s chief executive David White.
© Agence France-Presse