Guyana: Guyana Amazon Warriors have stepped up their preparations for the forthcoming HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season by confirming New Zealand star batsman Martin Guptill as their captain.
Guptill, 29, is the franchise’s marquee player and is currently ranked third in the ICC World T20 batting rankings. The Aucklander enjoys a career average of 34.73 and strike rate of 131.44 from 61 games to date for the Black Caps. A mainstay in the New Zealand top order across all three formats, he recently featured in his fifth ICC World T20 event in India and was a key figure as his nation reached the semi-finals, scoring 140 runs in four games at an impressive strike rate of 157.30.
This will be Guptill’s fourth season in the CPL overall, and third with the Warriors, having also previously featured for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots (in 2015). In 28 CPL games to date he averages 35.7, including seven half-centuries, with a highest score of 90.
Commenting on his selection, Martin Guptill said: “It is a huge thrill and a great honour for me to be selected as Guyana Amazon Warriors captain for the forthcoming CPL season. Guyana is a cricket-rich nation and has produced many outstanding West Indies cricketers, not least Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Colin Croft, Lance Gibbs, Carl Hooper and the great Sir Clive Lloyd, amongst many others. I am conscious of Guyana’s heritage and standing in the Caribbean, and proud to lead the team into battle this year.
“I am really excited about working with a talented crop of emerging local and international talent and we will be working hard to try and be consistent and go one step further and clinch the title which has eluded the Warriors on two occasions. Of course this summer we will also be travelling to Central Broward Stadium in Florida which is a really positive development for CPL as we move into mainland USA. Speaking to some of the players already, there’s already a lot of excitement about this step.
“I would like to thank the owners and coach Roger Harper for inviting me back and we are all focused on giving our wonderful supporters many happy memories later this summer. Providence Stadium is a ground that I have fond memories of playing in and I know that we can count on some big numbers for our games there again this summer.”
Reflecting on the ICC World T20 2016, he added: “I would firstly like to congratulate the West Indies team and management on regaining the World T20 in such dramatic fashion last weekend. Their performances were outstanding throughout the competition and it was a real team effort.
“Personally speaking, New Zealand were disappointed to lose in the semi-finals to England, but we can take a lot of positives and look to build for the next few years as we have a good group of promising New Zealand cricketers coming through. With my team mates Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro signed up, it will be a great tournament for the fans as some of the biggest names in world cricket arrive in the Caribbean.
“West Indies cricket is on a real high. And with the women’s and Under-19 teams also enjoying international success, I have no doubt that the feel-good factor will continue into the best ever CPL this summer and beyond.”
Dr. Ranjisinghi “Bobby” Ramroop, franchise owner of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, said: “I am delighted to welcome a world class player of the calibre of Martin Guptill back to the team, having been a member of the Guyana Amazon Warriors family for the 2013 and 2014 editions of CPL. Martin’s dynamic personality, coupled with his high level of discipline and work ethic, will certainly be instrumental as a role model to the other team members, especially the younger players on the team. We wish him well and believe that he will be an inspirational figure for the team, on and off the field.”
Warriors Coach Roger Harper added: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Martin on being named captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors for CPL 2016. I have no doubt that Martin will lead from the front and his professionalism and passion for the game will spread throughout the team and drive us to success. I am excited about working with him as Captain.”