Super Smash – ‘Thank You Gup’ day in Auckland on January 4 to celebrate Martin Guptill’s career

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Martin Guptill will have his illustrious career celebrated at Auckland Aces’ men’s Super Smash T20 game against Wellington Firebirds on January 4 at the Eden Park Outer Oval.

The ‘Thank You, Gup’ day will honour the 37-year-old’s contribution to both New Zealand and Auckland cricket. As part of the celebrations, the Eden Park Outer Oval will become ‘The Martin Guptill Oval’ for the testimonial game.

Guptill’s contribution will also be recognised at the grassroots level. Auckland’s Men’s Premier Club T20 competition is set to be named the Martin Guptill Cup from the 2024-25 season.

Guptill has insisted that this will not be his retirement party and will continue to play in franchise T20 – and T10 – leagues around the world. Guptill, though, has not featured for New Zealand since October 2022. In November 2022, he became a free agent after being released from his Black Caps central contract.

“Martin is without doubt one of our country’s finest ever white-ball cricketers and we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate and recognise what he has done for cricket,” Auckland Cricket CEO Iain Laxon said in a statement.

“His career is one that feels at times like an ongoing highlights reel, there are so many moments where he has made hugely significant contributions at a domestic level for Auckland or on the international stage for New Zealand. Those efforts create memories for all of us and we want everyone to come along and join us in saying thanks to him for all those special moments.”

Guptill, who had made his T20 debut for Auckland in January 2006, continues to be their highest run-getter in the format with 2313 runs at an average of 37.91 and strike rate of 133.23. He is also New Zealand’s leading run-getter in T20Is with 3531 runs at an average of 31.81 and strike rate of 135.70. Only Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have scored more runs than Guptill in the history of T20I cricket.

Guptill had recalled his memories with Auckland at the Super Smash launch party earlier this week.

“It’s pretty special. I’ve been involved in the Auckland Cricket system for a number of years now, from the age-groups, U14s, U15s, U17s and U19s, to where I am today. A lot of thanks to Auckland Cricket. It’s like a family community here and I’ve been lucky enough to be involved with it for a long time now.

“Winning the Plunket Shield two years ago and being there playing the game when the Shield was presented was pretty special. We had a good night after that.”

Guptill started this Super Smash season with a 29-ball 47 against Canterbury in Auckland on December 19. His next assignment after the Super Smash is the ILT20 in the UAE with Sharjah Warriors.

Guptill didn’t make the IPL auction shortlist, but his recent T20 form is encouraging. He finished as the highest run-getter for Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL 2023, with 262 runs in ten innings at an average of 32.75 and strike rate of 115.41.

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