Tue, 14 Jun 2022

Sheldon Jackson hits out the selectors for continued snub despite performing well


Indian cricket is a tough place, as there millions of players with dreams to don the national colors. As the cliché goes only 11 can make the field, this holds true for every generation. Be it someone like Amarjeet Kaypee or Rajinder Goel, Amol Mazumdar or Sitanshu Kotak to the current generation of Sheldon Jackson or Jalaj Saxena. The aspirants for the Indian team is long but the call isn’t anywhere in the horizon. One of the most consistent performers has been 35 year old Sheldon Jackson who has played domestic cricket for over a decade.

Sheldon Jackson – domestic cricket giant

Sheldon Philip Jackson made his Ranji debut in the year 2011 against Railways aged 25. Since then he has gone on to play 79 games scoring just under 6000 runs with an amazing average of 50. He has 19 centuries and 31 half centuries with 57 catches and 2 stumpings behind the stumps.

Earning praise from Tendulkar and Co –

Early this year, Jackson was part of the KKR outfit and played a few games in the IPL. Jackson impressed everyone with his glovework and fast stumping which reminded everyone of MS Dhoni. While speaking to Sportskeeda The 35 year old stumper said “That (glove speed) is one thing that comes very naturally to me. Because my basics were as a tennis ball cricketer. So keeping over there helped me with my hand speed. Getting compared to Dhoni sir, when I heard it, I was really over the moon, I was so happy that someone has noticed my abilities and have become vocal about it. I agree that I never did well with the bat, but I did very well with the gloves and there weren’t many people who even mentioned it.”

Having a go at the selectors –

Many Indian cricketers and experts have expressed amazement at the fact that, Jackson hasn’t been given an India call up. At 37, Dinesh Karthik has just made a comeback to the Indian team, after his brilliant exploits during the TATA IPL 2022. The 35 year old though feels hard done by. In the same interview with Sportskeeda, he said “ To be honest, this has not happened just this year, it has been happening since the beginning. The amount of runs and the rate at which I got them; I don’t think many in the country have. If you see 75 matches and around 6000 runs, that shows what I have achieved through my hard work”

Selector’s flip-flop with age criteria –

When we speak about some of the countries like South Africa, England and Australia, they haven’t been shy to reward talent. Bryce McGain at nearly 39 made his test debut for Australia in 2009 after a tremendous Sheffield Shield season. Michael Hussey made his debut at the age of 30 after years of piling on the runs in domestic cricket. To the misfortune of many, the general perception is if a player is 30 and above, he wont be picked. The selectors though have flip flopped on this many times. Sheldon Jackson while speaking to Sportskeeda said “There has been no communication (on why I was not picked) but once I asked someone what more I need to do, I was told I am old. They told me that above 30, we are not picking anyone. But ultimately, after a year, they picked someone who was around 32-33. I was very vocal that is there any law that once you're above 30, 35 or even 40 you cannot get picked? Then why don’t you come out with a law itself”

Jackson not losing motivation –

Despite the continued snub, Sheldon Jackson is showing the fighter in him, as he isn’t ready to throw the towel just yet. Jackson wants to keep playing and performing to the best of his abilities. Before signing off his interview with Sportskeeda “It is very difficult because year in and year out, you're putting in the hard yards, being consistent, because Indian domestic cricket is so difficult, to be consistent over there year in year out. But that is the motivation for me. The more I don't get picked, the more I get determined to do it again. Not to prove people, but to prove it to myself that I still have the hunger in me