‘If cricket was not kind to me, I would have been selling panipuri on the road’ – Sheldon Jackson opens up on his struggles
Sheldon Jackson revealed that he still looks up to Gautam Gambhir.
Updated - Sep 16, 2021 4:27 pm
Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) cricketer Sheldon Jackson has revealed that he harbored thoughts of giving up cricket altogether at the age of 25. Adding that he was in the Ranji Trophy squad for 5 years without featuring in the playing XI in even a single match, Jackson said that it was a close friend of his who persuaded him to continue playing for another year as Jackson had worked hard on his cricket.
Jackson further added that his friend even told him that if nothing worked out for him then he could come back and work in the factory that was run by his friend. The Kolkata Knight Riders’ batsman revealed that in that ‘extra year’, he broke every record in the country, and scored three centuries in a row as well.
Adding that cricket is the only thing that he knows in his life, Jackson added that if cricket was not kind to him, he would have ended up selling panipuri on the road.
“At the age of 25, I thought of giving cricket up totally. I was in the Ranji Trophy squad for five years without playing a single match. Then a very, very close friend of mine, named Mr. Shapath Shah, said that ‘You have worked all these years very hard, give yourself another year, wait for another year, if nothing works you can come and work in my factory. I’ll give you a job but give yourself another year.
“That year I broke every record in the country. I became the highest run-scorer. I played everything except for India. I got four centuries in a year, three centuries in a row… From there on my career just kickstarted. That time I understood that if I have to do something in my life, this is the only thing I can do, because I knew nothing else. I never paid attention to anything else in my life. Or else, if cricket had not been kind to me, I would have been selling panipuri on the roads,” said Sheldon Jackson in a video conversation with KKR.
Sheldon Jackson reveals how Gautam Gambhir played a role in picking him in the KKR squad
Sheldon Jackson also revealed how Gautam Gambhir helped him in getting picked in the KKR side. After a Ranji Trophy match, Jackson had approached Gambhir and asked him how he can improve on his game, and the then KKR skipper told Jackson that he was playing well, and will be picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in the IPL auction.
“We were playing a Ranji Trophy match against Delhi. I scored a 50 against a very good bowling attack. After that, I went up Gautam bhai, I have always idolized him, so I said: ‘Bhaiya, what do you feel about my game? How can I improve?’ He said: ‘You are batting well, just be ready. This year, I’ll pick you in KKR’. I just thanked him and went away, thinking he said that just to keep my heart,” said Jackson.
During the auction, Jackson went unsold in the first round, but that was when a person from the KKR management told him that Gautam Gambhir will ensure that he will be picked by the KKR side. Jackson concluded by stating that he still looks up to Gautam Gambhir.
“The auctions came and I went unsold in the first round. But someone from the KKR management called me saying, ‘Don’t worry Gautam bhai called us just now and we’ll go for you’. And I got picked for KKR. I always looked up to Gautam bhai, and I still do,” concluded Jackson.