Off The Field

Martin Guptill will be missed but he has not retired, says Kane Williamson after opener gives up central contract

Written by Shreyas Vyas

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson did not divulge much when he was quizzed whether Martin Guptill would be considered for selection in ODIs in the near future but said the BlackCaps will miss their senior batter in the upcoming 3-match series against India, starting November 25.

Guptill sought and was granted release from the central contract ahead of the ODI series, becoming the 3rd New Zealand player to do so in the last few months. 

Guptill was picked for the T20 World Cup 2022 but he warmed the benches in Australia as New Zealand preferred Finn Allen over the senior opener. Right after the conclusion of the World Cup, Guptill sought to be removed from central contracts. Subsequently, Guptill was not even picked for the 3-match ODI series against India after he was omitted from the recently-concluded T20I series.

Guptill also did not play ODIs against Australia in September as New Zealand benched the star batter. 

Williamson, speaking to the press on the eve of the ODI series, said Guptill still has a lot to keep working through but did not respond to whether he would be in the team’s plans in the future. The successful skipper also praised the way Guptill handled himself at the T20 World Cup despite not getting a chance. 

“He’s made a decision to explore a few other options, but as a player and as an experienced member of the group, he’s added so much value over the years and been one of our best white-ball players ever,” Williamson said. 

“Even in the T20 World Cup, without getting a playing opportunity, he was outstanding at offering [help] to all the players in the group. He’s been fantastic in so many areas of the environment. [He] absolutely will be missed, but he is not retired, so there’s a lot to keep working through over the next period to get a real feel for how the picture looks,” he added. 

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Shreyas Vyas