Melbourne, Nov 25 (IANS) Just two days after he was released from his New Zealand central contract, veteran opener Martin Guptill has joined Melbourne Renegades for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League (BBL).
Guptill becomes the third player from New Zealand to land a BBL contract after left-arm pacer Trent Boult was drafted by Melbourne Stars through the inaugural overseas player draft in August and pace all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme retired from international cricket to play for Adelaide Strikers.
“I’m excited to be joining the Renegades and am looking forward to being part of the Big Bash this season. This is a new challenge for me and it will be nice to call Melbourne home for the summer. I’ll be trying to make as many runs as I can to help drive the Renegades back up the ladder and push for team success,” said Guptill on his association with the club.
Guptill will link up with the Renegades following West Indies fast-bowling all-rounder Andre Russell’s four-game stint at the beginning of the tournament, replacing England batter Liam Livingstone. He had played in the BBL once before — making a one-off appearance 10 years ago for the Sydney Thunder.
“I’ve crossed paths with a few of the guys over the years on the international circuit and know this will be a great team environment to be part of. I can’t wait to join up with the team after Christmas and play in front of plenty of Renegades fans at Marvel Stadium and in Geelong,” he added.
Guptill is one of the world’s premier white-ball players, having amassed almost 11,000 runs across 320 appearances for New Zealand in ODIs and T20Is. He will be available for the Renegades’ following 10 regular season games — starting with the December 28 clash with the Sydney Sixers — plus finals, should the Renegades qualify.
“We’re delighted to have a player of Martin’s calibre joining the Renegades and we’re excited that he has chosen to play for our club. Martin’s record over a long period of time in the shortest form of the game for New Zealand and in domestic competitions around the world speaks for itself.
“We know Martin will add a wealth of experience and knowledge to our playing group and look forward to seeing what he can produce in red. Signing Martin and Andre over the past month has been a great outcome for our club.
“With Andre playing the first four matches and Martin joining us from there, we now have a world-class player available for the duration of the tournament which will help give us every chance of success in BBL-12,” said James Rosengarten, General Manager, Melbourne Renegades.
The Renegades will begin their campaign in the BBL on December 15 against the Brisbane Heat in Cairns, before hosting the Sydney Thunder at Marvel Stadium on December 18.