Test Match Sofa
Guptill recalled early by New Zealand
By Andy Wilson
New Zealand Cricket have recalled opening batsman Martin Guptill a week before the scheduled end of his second spell with Derbyshire.
With a tour to the West Indies only three weeks away, the Black Caps have decided to take no risks with the 25-year-old who suffered a finger injury in the field on the first day of Derbyshire’s LV County Championship game with Gloucestershire at Bristol last week.
Guptill chipped the bone on the little finger of his right hand diving to stop the ball in the gully. The X-rays and the specialist’s report were sent back to New Zealand and their national board has decided caution is the best policy.
“I planned to stay a little longer but I got a text from New Zealand Cricket saying they want me to rest up and then come home,” said Guptill. “That’s probably a good thing in the long run really, so that I don’t break it properly. We’ve got a busy schedule coming up this year, so there’s not much point taking too much of a risk with it.
“It’s been good fun with the guys here and I get along with them really well, so I’ll be sad to go but I’ll be back next year playing with New Zealand. I’ll be keeping an eye on the guys from the West Indies and keeping in touch with them as well.
“My time here has been good for me. I’m feeling good in the middle at the moment, so that’s always a positive, and I’ve worked out a few things about my game as well. Hopefully, I can use that in the Test arena in the coming months.”
Guptill scored 594 County Championship runs at an average of 49.50 with two centuries to help make Derbyshire the surprise leaders of Division Two.
Derbyshire may now look into registering Pakistan bowler Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who flies in on Wednesday to prepare for the t20 campaign, to play in the Clydesdale Bank 40 match at Horsham on Sunday (June 10) and Australia batsman Usman Khawaja is to be Guptill’s replacement in all competitions for the second half of the season.
Guptill will be missed but he believes Derbyshire remain legitimate promotion contenders without him. “I think so, definitely,” he added. “There’s a great bunch of players in this team and they have got the potential to mix it with the big guns in the first division.
“There’s no reason why we can’t push for promotion. The guys have got a lot of talent and a lot of spirit. Hopefully, we can keep going the way we are and push on.
“I think we are in a good state at the moment. We are still top of the league in the second division, with a couple of quality overseas players coming in for the Twenty20s with Usman Khawaja staying on. Hopefully, he can pick up where I left off and score a few runs to help Derbyshire towards promotion.”
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