As a youngster, Black Caps batting ace Martin Guptill was obsessed with sport, playing rugby, soccer, cricket and softball, and even representing Avondale College at Kilikiti (Samoan cricket).

"He played midget cricket down at the (Suburbs-New Lynn) club from about the age 5," a proud dad Peter told the Herald today.

"Whenever there was a bit of ground and a chance, he'd play cricket."

Guptill, who blazed a record-setting 237 not out yesterday against the West Indies at Wellington Regional Stadium is nicknamed 'Marty two toes' as a result of a forklift accident when he was 13 that resulted in three toes on his left foot being amputated.


His father, a Suburbs-New Lynn Cricket Club stalwart, used his contacts to get in touch with Jeff Crowe, then manager of the New Zealand team. Stephen Fleming visited the injured teen in hospital the next day.

But the loss of Guptill's digits didn't hold him back. He was drafted into the Avondale College First XI in third form, and played goal keeper for the school's First XI football side, plus stints with rugby, softball and Kilikiti.

"I think he was obsessive about all sports," Peter said. "As he went through school he played most of the teams on the go."

Peter, 62, watched his son decimate the West Indian bowling attack yesterday at a pub in Royal Oak.

"It was nerve-wracking for a while but by the time he got to about 70 you relaxed, and then just hope he can go on and keep going, and he did."

Peter said the battered white ball that his son smashed on to the stadium roof yesterday had been retrieved and was presented to Guptill after the game. A photo emerged of it on Twitter today, with the message: "Good effort from the stadium to retrieve this from the roof for @Martyguptill #souveneir."

Peter said it was the second time his son had a dispatched a cricket ball to the stadium's roofing iron.

"He's hit it up there once before."

He's now looking forward to watching his offspring take on South Africa on Tuesday at Eden Park and hopes the Black Caps can go all the way.

"I think they can but they just have to forget about the next game (the final) and concentrate on the game coming up.

"A couple of them fire again batting and a couple of the bowlers have a good day - I think they've got a good chance."