Circle of Cricket’s latest presentation in the digital world, REECHAT, brought fans closer to their favorite players. The show sees former India women’s cricketer Reema Malhotra talking with some of the best Indian players about their journey in life and cricket apart from some light-hearted conversation.
The first four episodes of the REECHAT show featured World Cup winners in Irfan Pathan, RP Singh, Suresh Raina, and Piyush Chawla. The latest episode of the show turned towards domestic champions and featured Sheldon Jackson, who was part of the Ranji Trophy 2019-20 winning Saurashtra team.
Sheldon, 33, is a known entity in Indian domestic cricket with a stellar record to his name. The wicketkeeper-batsman has played 76 FC games, making 5634 runs at an average of 49.42 with 19 centuries and the best score of 186. He has also featured in 55 List-A games and 54 T20s making a combined total of 2867 runs with 6 centuries and a best of 150*.
He has a total of 125 dismissals behind the stumps apart from two wickets in FC matches.
Sheldon Jackson’s conversation with Reema Malhotra began with her congratulating the cricketer on becoming a father. Sheldon spoke about how the baby has brought more patience and temperament to him. He recalled the problems he faced while adjusting to the baby’s schedule and taking time out to spend with the newborn, something he enjoys doing a lot.
Jackson recalled his start in First-Class cricket saying that he didn’t play a single game for Saurashtra in the first six years that he was in the team. He said that I had to stick it out and even mentioned that he might hold the record for sitting out 35-40 matches in a row.
Jackson mentioned that he had no other option in life other than cricket because that was the only thing he knew and loved. He said that his family was not doing well financially and given his disinterest in education, cricket was the only source of livelihood for him and he had to ride out the difficult period for the sake of his mother.
He said the biggest motivation to continue was to give his mother a good life and said that “last few years have been nice to me both professionally and personally. I am still doing hard work in order to keep my good time to stay as long as possible.”
When asked about what keeps him going in domestic cricket despite being on the wrong side of 30, Sheldon said that the biggest motivation is the dream of playing for India one day.
“People have told me to stop thinking about playing for India and stick to Ranji now that you are above 30. Playing for India is the biggest motivation for any cricketer,” Sheldon said. He said that I have done most of the things I wanted to do, but still yearn for playing just one match for India in order to complete that one page in the book of his life.
Sheldon Jackson has been part of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squads in the Indian Premier League. He played a total of 4 matches in the tournament, scoring 38 runs with the best score of 16.
He called his KKR captain Gautam Gambhir his role model because he was honest and straightforward with him during his time at the KKR franchise. He was told clearly by the management and Gambhir that he was picked as the backup keeper to Robin Uthappa and will only get chances if that slot opens up.
However, Sheldon impressed them with his batting skills earning a place in the XI as a batsman. He says had he made big runs in the opportunities he got, the story would have been different.
Further, in the interview, he shared his love for animals and spoke about how he helped the hungry strays near his home with food. He also helped out the poor by helping them with food and other necessities.
He named Ravindra Jadeja as the player with the best sense of humor and called his former Saurashtra teammate Chirag Jani his best buddy. Sheldon also opened up about his bout with depression and how he overcame it by surrounding himself with positive people and things. He thanked and credited his mother and wife for their support during his dark times.
Lastly, he mentioned that COVID warriors deserve a big thanks given that they are putting themselves in danger for us and doing everything to keep us safe and are not thinking about themselves or their family.
Here is the REECHAT episode featuring Sheldon Jackson in conversation with Reema Malhotra:
The next episode of the REECHAT will feature a U19 World Cup-winning cricketer and stay tuned for it on Friday, August 28, at 8 PM IST.