Guptill ready to corner glory

Guptill ready to corner glory

A fluent attacking batsman, Guptill missed out on a first-class century on his debut by just one run, but he didn’t repeat that mistake on his ODI debut where he scored 122 against the West Indies. An important member of the Kiwi squad in the ongoing World T20, Guptill is keen to make a mark in the shortest format as well. With the fresh auctions to be held soon for the Indian Premier League, Guptill wants to grab the attention of the franchises at the biggest stage. “I don’t have a T20 half-century yet. I want that to change and I feel good, having played a couple of good knocks for Auckland in domestic cricket,” says the right-hander.

 Cricket has always been Guptill’s first love but his dreams of wearing the New Zealand cap had almost ended when he was only a 13-year-old boy. Helping out at his father's trucking and storage business, Guptill’s foot was run over by a fork lift. Despite the best efforts by the doctors to fix his broken toes, three of his toes had to be amputate when they failed to heal properly. “It was very traumatic then, when I was given the news,” recalls Guptill. “But I was back playing cricket soon and I have gotten used to those missing toes. My body has adjusted to it, and now it’s not a hindrance to me at all,” he remarks.

As the distraught Guptill was brooding on his hospital bed over his lost toes, his father Peter, himself a veteran club cricketer, requested the then New Zealand team manager Jeff Crowe to have one of the players visit his son. Stephen Fleming visited him the next day and when Guptill made his debut it was Fleming’s record that he broke. His team-mates now jokingly call him “Marty Two-toes” and having put those memories of the accident firmly behind him, Guptill can even laugh at his new name.

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