After a 14 year long domestic career playing for Saurashtra, Sheldon Jackson has decided that it is time for him to take up a new challenge, one, according to his own words, was ‘not an easy’ decision to make. The Bhavnagar born middle order batsman has decided to switch his loyalties to Puducherry from the upcoming domestic Cricket season.
Jackson, who made his first class Cricket debut for Saurashtra in 2006 at the age of 19, played a major role in Saurashtra’s maiden Ranji Trophy title this year, scoring 809 runs in 10 games at an average of 50.56 with 3 hundreds, including one against Gujarat in the semi final. In a statement released by the Saurashtra Cricket Association, Jackson, a veteran of 76 First Class matches with 5,634 runs under his belt, was quoted as saying, “It’s been a great honour for me to represent Saurashtra and the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) on the field right from under-14 to being crowned Ranji Trophy champions. The journey so has far has been fantastic and I am thankful to everyone at the Saurashtra Cricket Association for standing by my side in my good and bad times. I am very thankful to Mr Niranjan Shah and Mr Jaydev Shah who have been father figures to me on and off the field and have been my constant support in my times of darkness and when I was low in my performances.”
“This has been one of the hardest decisions that I had to make and it’s not been easy for me, but I feel it’s the right time for me to move on and play as a professional in some other team or state. I rest assured that if anytime the Saurashtra Cricket Association or Niranjan sir needs me or my services towards the team, I will be standing right beside. All my life I will treasure playing for Saurashtra and I am proud to be associated with Saurashtra Cricket.”
SCA president Jaydev Shah confirmed that the association have granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to Jackson for him to ply his trade with Puducherry. He said, “He wanted to play for a different team this year and we have issued an NOC (no-objection certificate). He has been a key player of the team and we wish him all the luck for the future endeavours.”
Puducherry have already roped in veteran domestic Cricket stalwarts such as Paras Dogra, Vinay Kumar and Arun Karthik. Recently, the state side from down south announced that they had roped in Aavishkar Salvi and Dishant Yagnik as the head coach and the fielding coach of the side respectively. The addition of an in-form Sheldon Jackson will bolster the Puducherry side, who narrowly missed out on a quarter final berth by two points to Goa in the Ranji Trophy last season.