Home Interviews Exclusive Interview With Sheldon Jackson: KKR Is One Of The Finest Franchisees

Exclusive Interview With Sheldon Jackson: KKR Is One Of The Finest Franchisees

Exclusive Interview With Sheldon Jackson: KKR Is One Of The Finest Franchisees

Every child in their formative years dreams…visualizing to play the most loved sport of the nation…“Cricket”, further to score a century in front of a packed stadium…and finally to walk out in the special blue or white jersey, with an ambition and fire in the belly to perform well and get their country a trophy. The talented cricketer Sheldon Jackson is no different as he just did not read success stories about personalities who made it big in the cricketing arena, in fact he toiled day in and day out on the ground which further helped him script a success story of his own.

Sheldon is someone who has recognized his God-gifted talents and gone onto develop them into great skills, by which he has accomplished his goals. Even when the chips are down he has overcome all the difficulties, converted his weakness into strength walking out the next day to turn those cloudy days into sunny shining ones. This young man strives for constant and never ending improvement. He shows time and again, that when one has a burning desire and a plan to take action… there is absolutely nothing that can stop an individual to garner success.

This right handed wicketkeeper- batsman plays for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy. On the other hand, he is part of the popular T20 league called ‘The IPL’, being a part of team Kolkata Knight Riders. He finished the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season as the fifth highest run getter with 819 runs in 8 matches, thus getting a lot more prominence. Ever since then he has flourished with the bat.Recently, he started the new season with a bang scoring a mammoth 303 not outfor Globe Trotters Sports Club in the Tamil Nadu first division league. Jackson has played 38 first class matches, accumulated 2734 runs with 13 fifties and 9 hundreds with his highest score being 181*. CricFit.com author Binaisha M. Surti caught up with the cricketing wizard Sheldon Jackson and he spoke to her about his success, achievements in domestic cricket and journey on the pitch in an exclusive interview.

Cricket has always been a very popular sport inGujarat right from the very beginning. As Sheldon grew up there, he too was struck and captured by the cricketing bug. Surprisingly, cricket was never on his mind initially, in fact it was much later that he decided to pursue it on a professional level. It all started off for him as he played gully cricket. Later he went for summer coaching camps. Further he took part in the district selections which were taking place. He proved his worth and was selected, from there onwards it was no looking back as he went on to play for Saurashtra. Cricket is his first love and is the only thing he currently thinks of all the time.

Speaking to us about his stay in Mumbai he said that the school in which he studied always encouraged children to play sports. Football, athletics, cricket, hockey were a few of them… So all the youngsters played these games during the allotted months. He further added that when he got picked for the Saurashtra side he enjoyed playing even more and knew that he was definitely on the right path towards achieving his goals. That is how his dream of becoming a cricketer transformed into reality.

On a funny note we asked him how many windows he broke as he is a powerful striker of the ball. He explained with a laugh that in the society where he lived, he did break many of them. Talking about his gully cricket days he told us that while they played cricket, someone or the other would land up breaking window panes and the next moment everyone would run away…but at the same time they all knew who the culprit was.

Shifting the gear we then discussed about how he picked up the gloves and took to wicket-keeping. He shared that in the beginning he got selected for the Bhavnagar district as an off spinner who could bat. One day during one of their games their main keeper fell ill and never turned up for the match. Jackson’s coach told him to put on the gloves and try his hand at wicket-keeping. As he proved to be good behind the stumps stopping deliveries from reaching the boundary line, thushe was made the wicket-keeper of the team. Even today he practises with his whole heart and soul as he believes that there is never an end to learning.

Sheldon, then spoke to us about his journey in the cricketing arena from his junior level to playing for Saurashtra, India A and now finally the big stage of IPL. There have been many ups and downs in his career but he has taken it in his stride, emerged a stronger individual and currently looks to better his game at every level he plays the sport. He added that God has been kind to him, as when he played his first season he did start off on a good note. From there on runs kept flowing from his bat and further in the 2015-16 Ranji season he scored539 runs in 10 matches, which included 2 hundreds and 2 fifties and his highest score was 122.

Next we spoke about his role model in the sport of cricket. He quickly added that it is none other than the KKR skipper himself GautamGambhir. He loves his skipper’s attitude on field towards the game, as he looks to win each and every encounter. He does go onto admit that he would like to emulate Gauti(as Gautam is fondly called) in every aspect. Sheldon would indeed like to replicate what his idol does on field. He also shared a sneak peek about Gautam as a person off field. Gambhir is a soft spoken individual and a very approachable person off the ground. His doors are always open for anyone who looks to talk to him.

In the IPL this amazing talent is a part of the power packed team KKR…We discussed all about what was it like for him to be a part of such a huge set- up. He said that KKR is one of the finest franchisees which is very well managed and run. Everyone in the set- up is very calm and they all look to inspire each other to bring out the best as a team. Sheldon had a great time being a part of the boot camp too in South Africa prior to the start of IPL.

The sport itself motivates Sheldon to go out there in the middle and perform…one does not look for motivational reasons, he adds on. Self-motivation is the best thing, according to Sheldon. We were then eager to know the secret behind him performing consistently over the last few years. He has tried to strengthen his technique and has worked on quite a few minor things… Like controlling the mind in a better way as there are still many innings to come. He has worked a lot on his fitness too. Jackson appreciates the fact that KKR took the boys to South Africa. It is there that heunderstood the true meaning of fitness. They had gym sessions, worked on individual fitness, running and fielding sessions too were organized along with net practise. He maintains that training there took him to a different level altogether. Today too this dynamic cricketer just looks to push himself as he wants to be at his best every time he walks out on field. He follows his workout regime which is given to him by his trainers.

Sharing his thoughts on working with the legendary cricketer Mark Boucher during the IPL. With a lot of excitement he reminisces that Boucher personally worked on his keeping. He is a legend and has made a huge impact on Sheldon and now whenever he gets the opportunity he looks to give his best.

Walking down memory lane he shared how wonderful it is to have shared the dressing room with the likes of CheteshwarPujara, RavindraJadeja and Virat Kohli. He said that he has played with Pujara and Jadeja, his Saurashtra team mates’ right from the beginning and they have always been great people on and off the field too. In fact all are friendly in the Saurashtra camp, he concluded. On the other hand Virat is calm and jovial in the dressing room but aggressive on field as he is hungry for victory.

On the other hand, Joydeep Mukherjee has been helping him with his batting. His innovation and advice has helped the cricketer as they have been working together for a long time now. Sheldon is known for his perfect compact stance, ability to judge the ball and finally playing on its merit.

Sheldon is of the belief that the off season is extremely important for cricketers. The hours and hard work that one puts in during this period, is the fruits that the individual will reap during the actual season. While not playing cricket or working he loves to spend his free time at home with his mother and his adorable dog Casper. Being fond of football his favourite footballers are Ronaldo and Messi.

On the brighter side he has all the qualities which will help him reach his goal of playing for India. His sole mantra is to try and better his game as there is no substitute for hard work.

One of his most memorable games have been the recently concluded Irani Trophy where he scored a great half century playing for Rest of India. The team chased down the total and his innings proved instrumental in the victory. He was glad that he played his part in helping his team win against Mumbai. This just shows that never push life because God has a plan for each of us, so sit back and have faith in his timing.

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