back icon


After Harare heist, Teja Nidamanuru hopes to further make Netherlands proud

Last updated on 16 Jun 2023 | 02:47 PM
Google News IconFollow Us
After Harare heist, Teja Nidamanuru hopes to further make Netherlands proud

The batter may not have cemented his place in the Dutch side yet, but the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers could change all that

Leaves are indeed a privilege when you are at your job, punching in for those 8-9 hours. While we might enjoy the time off travelling or spending quality time with our families - basically doing whatever it takes to recharge before returning to our mundane, monotonous activities. For many from the associate world, like Teja Nidamanuru, they pop up to play for their countries at the international level on their days off.

Born in Vijayawada, Nidamanuru moved to New Zealand at a young age with his parents. He completed his education there, including a double major in sports management and marketing. He also managed to rise up the ranks in Auckland but could muster just a handful of performances there.

Nidamanuru then took up a job in the Netherlands, where he works 40 hours a week, but in reality, his love for cricket took him there after he was offered a contract by a Utrecht-based club called Kampong. Having played some cricket in England, where he also had the chance of playing alongside Tim David, turning up to play international cricket after a three-year cooling-off period did cross his mind.

The opportunity to don the orange jersey finally came to fruition when he made his debut in an ODI against West Indies in Amstelveen. He did not disappoint after he slammed an unbeaten 51-ball 58 coming in at six to take his side to a respectable 240.

He has pretty much blown cold since then but then grabbed onto the opportunity he received in the ODIs against Zimbabwe earlier this year to play one of the best ODI innings in a run-chase, batting at seven. He walked in when his side were tottering at 64 for 5, chasing 250. He finished the chase off, remaining unbeaten on 110 off just 96 deliveries.

“It's always been a dream of mine to play international cricket and to be able to do well or score hundreds or win a game...So, at that given time Colin Ackermann was batting, we started to get a partnership together. The plan was to take the game as deep as possible. We started by doing the smaller things well, rotating some strike and building some momentum,” Nidamanudu said in a chat with

“Zimbabwe had bowled really well. We lost a few wickets through a few good balls. We had an over of 14 or 16 [17] off Ryan Burl, when I was about 50-60 and from there on the impossible became a bit more possible.

“I've grown up watching [Virat] Kohli, [MS] Dhoni - all of these guys. A few months before I was at the T20 World Cup with the Netherlands. Watching Kohli do what he did against Pakistan was also amazing. You've seen really good examples of people taking the game really deep and winning it in the last over or so. That was the plan.”

He built a match-winning 110-run stand with Shariz Ahmed (30), and some brutal hitting from Paul van Meekeren 21* (9) eventually took the Dutch over the line with three wickets and one ball to spare.

“I don't think there too many better feelings than walking off 110* being able to win the game for your team from a position like that. It was pretty rewarding,” Nidamanuru adds.

With the Netherlands set to kick-start their World Cup Qualifiers campaign against the hosts on June 20, Nidamanuru believes that playing in Zimbabwe earlier this year certainly gives them a bit of an edge.

“I think we can take some confidence in knowing some of the conditions. We were also here last time for the T20 [World Cup] Qualifiers. There is a group of us here who have come through playing cricket in Zimbabwe and for whatever reasons we've ended up here a couple of times. It does give us a bit of confidence in knowing the conditions. So, we'll definitely be using that knowledge to help us moving forward,” the batter said.

Also Read: Associate nations leave a mark in an unforgettable 2022

Nidamanuru has not been among the runs since that epic ton but scored a solid 48 in the second ODI against South Africa. The Netherlands will certainly be boosted by the fact that he looked the part in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka, where he scored 41 off 62, batting at five.

While he has not batted anywhere above six in his international career, his promotion to five against Sri Lanka and Ireland ahead of the Qualifiers could certainly indicate the position he will bat in the 10-team event.

Nidamanuru admits that there have been discussions of him batting higher up the order.

“The management, the coach and the captain, we've got our plans in terms of how well we balance the side and what people are best positioned to execute these roles or scenarios that we're looking into. There will be a little bit more leeway going into the tournament and hopefully play a bigger role in terms of batting a little bit higher,” Nidamanuru, who played six white-ball matches for Auckland between 2017 and 2018, said.

“But at the end of the day, we've got to be able to do our job no matter where we go in - at top six or seven - your job is to score runs. Definitely, has been discussed. Just looking forward to the challenge more than anything else.”

Nidamanuru has made sporadic appearances in for the Netherlands since his debut and most recently sat the entire T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia on the bench. He had to watch from the sidelines as his side would go onto make the Super 12s and also record a historic win over South Africa to book themselves a place in the T20 World Cup 2024 in USA and West Indies.

Also Read: World Cup Qualifiers: Is this as far as Nepal get?

While admitting that it has been tough on him, he remains confident that his time, too, will come at some point.

“From a personal point of view, it was really tough [sitting out], if I'm honest,” he said when asked about the T20 World Cup last year.

"But when you're part of a team and there are different dynamics at play you also have to understand the reasoning behind it and what's happening there. It was a great learning experience for me. I watched the best guys in the business go about how they play. We played India at the SCG. Watching Kohli or other people bat during that time...he's on 30 without doing anything. I'd be thinking, as a batter how can I have a similar approach or how can I also score runs with such low risk but high reward sort of scenarios.

“I was making sure that I was putting in the work in the nets. I was training at very good facilities, whether it was at the Sydney Cricket Ground or Adelaide or Perth or whatever the case maybe. My time will come. It's about doing what's in my control and what's in front of me.”

While he may not have bowled much with the Netherlands at the highest level, Nidamanuru certainly possesses the skill to chip in with a few off-spinners – a feature the Dutch could make the best of not just in the Qualifiers but for many more years to come. He continues to bowl in club cricket, and with the Netherlands set to be focused on T20s with the World Cup on the horizon next year, he is hopeful that his bowling adds a new dimension and regularly features as a result.

The Netherlands have been denied of some quality cricketers like Colin Ackermann, Fred Klaasen, Roelof Van der Merwe and many others over the years due to their county commitments, which is something they have had to work around. At the end of the day, it’s a question of their livelihood. As Nidamanuru puts it, “That's how they feed their family, and it's their main income earner, and they're contracted full-time over there.”

With the funding for associate teams just 11.19% of ICC’s share annually – which translates to just a little over USD 67 million, according to ICC’s latest revenue distribution model – one could understand the need for players to seek lucrative offers elsewhere.

For Nidamanuru, though, the hope is that all the hard yards he put in gets translated to plenty of match-winning performances for the Dutch - with both the bat and the ball. There’s no better way to do that than helping your country to a World Cup.

Related Article