Wellington: Aug 22, 2013
New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill on Thursday joined calls for more international matches for the Black Caps as they struggle to lift their profile.
Guptill, who has been in impressive form in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), said New Zealand would struggle to improve on its eighth-placed Test ranking without a steady diet of matches against quality opponents.
Legendary all-rounder Richard Hadlee recently said New Zealand needed more Tests but the perception in other countries was that the team was not box-office material.
“It appears our value to other countries is not significant enough to keep us long enough in their country to make decent money. I think there should be some commitment to honour future tour programmes,” Hadlee said.
His comments came as officials continue to thrash out India’s itinerary for their New Zealand tour next February.
India, ranked number two in the world, want to reduce the scheduled three-Test programme to two.
Guptill, who will miss the rest of the Caribbean tournament with a broken bone in his right hand, said it was time other countries took note of the quality of New Zealand cricketers.
Guptill scored 198 runs at an average of 33 for the Warriors, who topped the group stage of the CPL, while team-mate James Franklin tops the averages with 170 runs at 42.50 and Ross Taylor has scored 141 runs for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
“It puts us out there and hopefully people will take notice,” Guptill said in a statement.
“From what I read, Sir Richard’s comments were more to do with Test cricket than anything else and we are struggling a little in the Test game at the moment.”
“The only way we can get better is by playing more Tests and if that can come in the next few years and we can keep developing as a team then who knows where we can go from there.”
Guptill had been filling a dual role in the CPL — opening the batting for the Warriors while gathering information on West Indies players ahead of their tour of New Zealand starting later this year.
This has included trying to decipher the skills of spinner Sunil Narine, his Warriors team-mate, although Guptill admitted that was not easy.
“I have been trying to see when he bowls how he does what he does but it is pretty hard to pick it up.”