Martin Guptill released from New Zealand Cricket contract

FILE - New Zealand's Martin Guptill looks up after being bowled by West Indies' Akeal Hosein during the third T20 cricket match at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica on Aug. 14, 2022. New Zealand Cricket has agreed to release veteran batsman Martin Guptill from his central contract to pursue playing opportunities overseas. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Cricket has agreed to release veteran batter Martin Guptill from his central contract to pursue playing opportunities overseas.

The 36-year-old Guptill has been a mainstay of New Zealand white ball teams for the past 13 years but recently has fallen out of favor with the national selectors and has been replaced by 23-year-old opener Finn Allen.

Guptill is New Zealand’s top scorer in Twenty20 internationals with more than 3,500 runs and is third in one-day internationals with 7,346 runs. But he was omitted from the New Zealand team for the T20 series against India which ended Tuesday with India winning the series 1-0 after a tie in the third match.

Guptill applied for and received a release from his New Zealand Cricket contract, effective immediately.

“We understand Martin’s position,” NZC chief executive David White said 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."

Guptill has indicated he still wants to play international cricket but that seems unlikely as the selectors are required to give priority to contracted players.

Fast bowler Trent Boult also was recently released from his central contract. He played at the T20 World Cup but was not selected for the India series.

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