Test Match Sofa
Guptill lined up for Derbys t20 return
By Andy Wilson
Derbyshire are looking to bring Martin Guptill back to the County Ground next season as their second overseas recruit for the Friends Life t20.
After completing the signing of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for the 2013 campaign this week, Derbyshire have confirmed that they have approached the New Zealand opening batsman, who had spells with the club in the last two seasons, to extend his stay in England this summer after his international commitments with the Black Caps are over.
New Zealand are to play two Tests, three ODIs and two t20 internationals against England – and compete in the Champions Trophy. The last of those games will be on June 27, the day before the beginning of the domestic t20 competition.
That appears to be convenient timing but the 26-year-old Guptill has yet to decide whether to stay on and play for Derbyshire or take the chance for a break from cricket.
“We are still in dialogue with him and it still is a possibility,” said head coach Karl Krikken. “I spoke to him when I was in India and I texted him the other night and he’s still thinking about it. It would be a bonus if he came but we’ll see.”
Captain Wayne Madsen met up with Guptill in December shortly before New Zealand’s t20 series against South Africa - the powerful Kiwi hit a blistering unbeaten 101 off 69 balls to lift his side to victory in the second match of that series - to discuss the possibility of a return.
“He seemed fairly keen but he has a few things to sort out before he can make that decision,” said Madsen. “He does a heck of a lot of travelling through the year and sometimes you do need the down time.
“Since he left us, he’s barely had four weeks at home and it is tough being an international cricketer from that point of view, so if he feels he needs to spend some time back in New Zealand, then he needs to.
“He’s a phenomenal player and if we could get him back it would be another huge boost for us. As he showed a couple of days after I met him, he is a devastating player in one-day cricket.”
Madsen, who led Derbyshire to the LV County Championship Division Two title in his first year as captain, has also spoken about the impact Chanderpaul’s signing has already had on the squad. Chanderpaul, the former West Indies skipper who is one of the top-10 Test run-scorers of all time and is currently ranked the number two batsman in the Test rankings, has signed a two-year deal.
“It’s a huge signing for us, and for me, as a captain, to have someone with his knowledge and experience is massive,” Madsen added. “It’s not only the calibre of player we are getting and his impact on the field in terms of runs but what he adds in value in the dressing room, especially for the younger batsmen coming through.
“For them to be able to soak up his knowledge and learn from him is huge for their careers. You don’t very often get the chance to play with someone who has scored more than 10,000 Test runs and for two seasons we have got, at the moment, the second-best batsman in Test cricket. It’s amazing for the whole squad. It’s an opportunity to learn from one of the best.”
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