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Derbyshire end Guptill FLt20 link

Derbyshire have quashed speculation linking in-form New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill with a return to the county for this year’s Friends Life t20.

Guptill’s two unbeaten hundreds, including a limited-overs-international-best 189, have given the Black Caps an unassailable 2-0 lead over England in the NatWest Series ahead of tomorrow’s last game of the rubber and the Champions Trophy that immediately follows.

With over a month between the end of the Champions Trophy and Guptill’s next commitment at the Caribbean Premier League from late July, the 26-year-old right-hander, pictured, was linked with the Falcons for the FLt20.

However, he will take a short break in New Zealand before heading to the West Indies, ruling him out of a third stint with Derbyshire for the time being at least.

Derbyshire head coach Karl Krikken, who has been in regular contact with Guptill in recent weeks, said: "We made no secret of our ambition to sign Martin as our second overseas player for the Friends Life t20 campaign and - while we are disappointed it won't happen this season - it's great to hear that the player has ambitions to return in the future.

"We were delighted to present Martin with his LV= County Championship Division Two winners medal ahead of our tour fixture versus New Zealand earlier this season - a moment he richly deserved for his fine contribution to the success.

"The international and domestic Twenty20 schedules around the world can make opportunities limited. But Martin has made it clear that he loves it here, that Derbyshire is his club and that one day he'd love to play for us again. I'm sure I'm joined by everyone connected with the club in looking forward to the day it happens.

"The CPL competition in the West Indies provides Martin with the ideal shop window in which to display his talents with a view to possible future involvement in the lucrative Indian Premier League. Good luck to him for a successful tournament."

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