Mark Chapman earns first NZC central contract, fills in for Martin Guptill

Left-handed batter Mark Chapman on Monday was awarded his first New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contract, filling in vacancy left by veteran opener Martin Guptill’s departure in November.

Chapman has played 22 T20Is and five ODIs for New Zealand since making his debut in 2018, making 381 runs and 111 runs respectively. He has also been a member of the New Zealand team in last two ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaigns.

Before this, he had played 21 matches for Hong Kong. He has also played 128 matches for his domestic team Auckland. A powerful and inventive left-hand batsman, Chapman offers an option with his left-arm orthodox spin bowling and is a highly rated fielder in the New Zealand cricket circuit.

“We’re delighted to have Mark join the central contract list after being there or thereabouts for a while. He’s a fine player and we like the versatility and innovation he brings to his batting. He’s a guy with a lot of talent and we see him being a big part of future BLACKCAPS squads,” said head coach Gary Stead.

On Sunday, Chapman was included in New Zealand’s tour of India comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is, running from January 18 to February 1, with the side continuing to manage the workloads of their players and support staff.

Earlier in November, Guptill was released from New Zealand cricket central contract after he lost his place in ODI and T20I teams. He was part of the Men’s T20 World Cup squad in Australia but did not get a single game with young Finn Allen opening the batting with Devon Conway.

After the side crashed out of the tournament in the semi-finals, Guptill was left out altogether for the white-ball series against India. He then joined Melbourne Renegades for the ongoing season of the Big Bash League (BBL).

Guptill is the third player from New Zealand to play in the BBL 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.

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