“If cricket had not been kind to me, I would have been selling panipuri on the roads," are the words of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) wicket-keeper batsman Sheldon Jackson. The 34-year-old recently shared his struggle to fit-in in the glamorous world of cricket in a KKR documentary. In the film ‘We Are KKR’, the cricketer revealed that he nearly gave up cricket when he was 25 years old. And, why would not he? After not featuring in Saurashtra’s single match in Ranji Trophy despite getting selected in the state team for the competition for five years.
Jackson decided to give cricket another go after being persuaded by his close friend Shapath Shah, who promised him a job at his factory if things would not wor out for him in the next one or two years.
And much to his surprise, Jackson got his big breakthrough the very next season as he was not only picked in his state’s playing XI but he also smashed numerous records in that year.
“That year I broke every record in the country. I became the highest run-scorer. I played everything except for India,” said Jackson.
He impressed many with his performance for Saurashtra in the 2012-13 season and since then he has been a regular in their squad on his home wicket. So far, he has played 76 first-class matches and amassed 5,634 runs at an impressive average of 49.42. He was also part of the Saurashtra squad that won the Ranji Trophy in 2020. He currently represents Puducherry.
Moving on to Sheldon Jackson’s IPL career, he was first bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League. However, he did not play a single match for them. Later, he was roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and made his first IPL appearance against Delhi Daredevils, now renamed to Delhi Capitals, in 2017 and his last appearance came against RCB in the same year.
Overall, he played just four IPL games and scored 38 runs and going into the second leg of the 14th edition of the cash-rich league, he is keen to make an impact if he is given the opportunity.