New Zealand opener Martin Guptill says he desperately needs his current break after 18 months of virtual non-stop cricket.
Guptill was told to "put the bat in the cupboard" by the national selectors and sit out the limited-overs section of the Sri Lanka tour, which starts with a Twenty20 international in Pallekele early on Wednesday.
Guptill, 26, did not argue, booking a four-day break in Queenstown to clear his head after returning from South Africa where Auckland bowed out of the Champions League last week.
"I'm starting to get quite tired now and the body's taken a bit of a hit from all the travelling we've been doing everywhere. It's nice to just get a couple of weeks off when I can just relax and not have to worry about cricket too much," Guptill said.
He resisted the temptation to make himself available for the Indian Premier League auction in recent years but played county cricket for Derbyshire over the past two New Zealand winters.
Last season, he toured Zimbabwe and Australia, played a full home summer, then returned to England before tours of West Indies and India, then the World Twenty20 and Champions League.
Winner of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal as New Zealand's player of the year, Guptill's form tailed off at the World T20 when he scored 75 runs from four innings in Sri Lanka.
Guptill, ranked No 3 on the national contract list behind Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum, is one of the highest-paid cricketers in the country.
However, the physical and mental stress caused by an increasingly congested international calendar was difficult to shake off, he said.
"The continual travel and the playing, day in, day out, takes a toll on your body and being away from home is pretty mentally draining as well.
"It all kind of blends into one and you're just completely tired of cricket sometimes."
Guptill was confident he would "come out firing" in Sri Lanka for the two tests, starting in Galle on November 17.
The right-hander, who averages 33.85 from 26 tests, said converting 50s into centuries and becoming more adept against spin bowling were his two aims.
Having reached a half-century 14 times in test cricket, just two have been converted into hundreds. His latest flirtation with three figures saw him sky a catch on 97 against West Indies in Antigua in July.
"That's every batsman's dream to score test hundreds. I've only scored two and I've had the opportunity to score a lot more and I haven't done it."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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