Cricket New Zealand has decided to release batter Martin Guptill from his national contract, freeing him to participate in the franchise leagues around the world.

The 36-year-old was recently omitted from the squad which took on India in a three-match T20 series which signalled the end of his international career.

NZC will instead look to build a fresher and younger team.

Guptill said he would still make himself available for New Zealand selection but was “realistic enough” to understand the need to consider his playing options.

“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,” he said in a statement.

The board, however, has made it clear that it will give preference to players with national or domestic contracts.

Martin Guptill had recently fallen down the pecking order in the New Zealand team with the explosive Finn Allen taking his place in the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

He still leaves with a stellar resume being New Zealand’s top run-scorer in T20 cricket and third-highest scorer in one-day cricket. With so much experience under his belt, he is expected to be a solid draw for T20 franchises around the world.

New Zealand recently released bowler Trent Boult and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme from their deals as well, something that may become a norm sooner rather than later.

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