"There was no communication at all" - Sheldon Jackson opens up on India snub

Sheldon Jackson has been one of the strong pillars of the Saurashtra team over the past decade. (P.C.:BCCI)
Sheldon Jackson has been one of the strong pillars of the Saurashtra team over the past decade. (P.C.:BCCI)

Sheldon Jackson might have played just nine games for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL, but he is a real stalwart in domestic cricket for Saurashtra.

The 35-year-old has played 79 first-class games for Saurashtra, scoring a staggering 5947 runs and 19 centuries at a fantastic average of 50.39. However, the wicketkeeper-batter has not had a single call-up to the Indian Test squad.

After MS Dhoni's retirement, the selectors have invested in wicketkeepers like Parthiv Patel, Dinesh Karthik, Wriddhiman Saha and also the young Rishabh Pant. But despite having stunning numbers in first-class cricket, Jackson has been unable to find a place.

In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Sheldon Jackson made some surprising revelations about the selectors overlooking him while picking the Indian squad.

"To be honest, this has not happened just this year, it has been happening since the beginning," Jackson said. "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."

Jackson further revealed that he was deemed 'old' by someone just because he was over the age of 30. After doing everything he could in domestic cricket, he was disheartened to get such feedback.

"There has been no communication (on why I was not picked)," Jackson said. "But once I asked someone (around 2018-19 or 2019-20) 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?"

Let's see one more year: Sheldon Jackson's mantra

Despite being ignored by the selectors, Sheldon Jackson continues to pile on the runs in domestic cricket across formats. He still has the hunger to keep the Indian team dream alive, thanks to the support from his loved ones and also his coaches.

"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," Jackson said. "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."
"I don't have to prove anything to anyone since I have done that for a long time," he added. "But I have the best batting coach in the country and the best trainer. They keep on motivating me that ‘let’s see one more year’. So I say the same to you, 'Let’s see one more year.'"

Apart from being a professional cricketer, Sheldon Jackson also works for the income tax department in Ahmedabad. The 35-year-old asserted that he is grateful for the support they have given him.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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