Worcestershire 2019 Vitality Blast overseas signing Martin Guptill is switching his attention from the IPL to the World Cup with New Zealand after completing his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Guptill, who hit the fastest domestic century of last summer playing for the Rapids, featured during the finale to the IPL and was in typical big-hitting form.
He smashed four sixes in making 36 off 19 balls to top score for Sunrisers in the Eliminator against Delhi Capitals in Visakhapatnam.
Guptill, who is available for 11 of the Rapids 14 Blast group games plus any potential quarter-final and finals day, top-scored but the Sunrisers were beaten by two wickets to end their interest in the competition.
He has also scored 30 in the previous game against Moeen Ali’s side, Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Now Guptill will link up with the Black Caps for his third World Cup after playing in 2011 and 2015.
They will play two warm-up matches – against India at The Oval (May 25) and West Indies at Bristol (May 28) before their opening World Cup match versus Sri Lanka in Cardiff on June 1.
Guptil said: “We have a very exciting squad, a strong squad as well. We are going to have a good time over there (in England) and we are going to prepare as best we can.
“If you look at the squad, there’s a lot of experience there in the batting and bowling department.
“I’m just going to bat like I bat. If I am going to try and bat like someone else, then I am not being true to myself and the team. So, I am just going to go out there and prepare as best I can.
“If I get a ball to hit first up, then I will try and hit it, but I’ll also try and give myself time to get in, but my place doesn’t change too much.”
Guptill played seven Vitality Blast matches for the Rapids last summer – a scheduled eighth appearance was washed out – and he hit a 35 ball century against Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road.
It earned him the Walter Lawrence Trophy for the quickest hundred of last summer and was collected on his behalf at an awards dinner during the winter by Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley.
A Rapids Vitality Blast Pass for 2019 again costs just £99 and includes all seven North Group matches at Blackfinch New Road.