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Updated: Feb 15

Republished from Outright 54

As the cricket season winds down and summer comes to a close, our members embark on all sorts of various off-season activities. Whether furthering studies, gaining work experience or showcasing their talents overseas. Four years ago, former Aces allrounder Teja Nidamanuru chose to pursue his career ambitions on the other side of the world and in doing so found an unexpected path to international cricket in the Netherlands.

Born in India, Teja migrated to New Zealand with his family at the age of 6. He quickly emerged within cricketing circles before an opportunity arose when Tony Sail, his former coach at Mount Albert Grammar, provided him a chance to make his debut for the Aces in 2017. Reflecting on his journey, Teja states, "I was putting in the hard work, facing the challenges, and found myself in and out of the squad. Eventually, I reached a point where I just wanted to maintain consistent play."

It was this desire for consistency that prompted the 25-year-old Teja to venture abroad during the 2019 off-season. Recounting his decision, he shares, "I was contemplating whether to stay in New Zealand when I received a full-time job offer from a startup tech company called Stratex."

Packed with determination and armed with his sports marketing degree from Unitec, he embarked on a new chapter. "Six months turned into four years, and before I knew it, I made my debut for the Netherlands against the West Indies in 2022." Interestingly, he made an unbeaten score of 58 in that match, and his maiden century followed in March against Zimbabwe, where he scored 110 runs off 96 balls. However, his most memorable achievement in cricket came when he powered the Netherlands to victory in the ICC ODI World Cup qualifier against the West Indies in late June. Displaying his all-round prowess, the 28-year-old batsman scored a blazing 111 runs from 76 balls, allowing the Netherlands to match the West Indies' score of 374 for six, with the Dutch ultimately finishing at 374 for nine (before securing the victory in a breathtaking super-over where fellow kiwi Logan van Beek shone by smashing a record 30 runs in the super over and securing two vital wickets to conclude the match memorably.

Beyond his contributions on the field, Teja serves as a Project Manager for Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Bond (KNCB), working to implement new strategies and processes. He is also a dedicated supporter and Vice President of the Dutch Cricketers Association, a commitment he attributes to his involvement with the NZCPA. "Heath Mills and Sanj Silva were incredibly supportive during a challenging time when my parents returned to India, and I remained in New Zealand. I am truly grateful for their assistance; the CPA is an invaluable resource for players."

Reflecting on his decision to pursue opportunities overseas, Teja expresses no regrets. Playing abroad has enriched his personal growth, and the new environment has allowed him to contribute his unique perspective and cultural background to the team, which, in turn, has brought out the best in him. "Traveling and playing cricket is a dream come true, and I am immensely proud to don the Orange of the Netherlands. I view it as a genuine privilege."

However, when all is said and done, he still considers New Zealand his home.


 The Dutch duo were not the only cricketers overseas this off-season, with a quick tally revealing that more than 50 of our members have ventured overseas, or are currently engaged in competitions across the globe. From Asia to North America, and Europe, these competitions include the IPL, Major League Cricket, Caribbean Premier League, Vitality Blast, The 100, and County Cricket, to name a few.

While many members garner attention when they make headlines, such as Stephen Flemming and Devon Conway involvement in winning the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings, or Trent Boult and MI New York securing the inaugural Major League Cricket title in the USA, there are others whose remarkable achievements go unnoticed, despite their significant contributions both on and off the field.

Many domestic men continue to call the UK home for their cricket season and the opportunities for our domestic women are emerging at a rapid rate as well. The international cricket landscape is evolving rapidly as it adjusted to the Domestic Leagues which now proliferate our cricketing landscape. The quest to secure cricket talent is evolving hand in hand with these domestic leagues and will present a greater number of opportunities for our members at all levels of the game.

We know that New Zealand will anchor our players to the game here, but it is fascinating to see what opportunities our members will be presented with in future. We only hope it remains a positive impact on our members and the game as a whole in New Zealand.



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