Sheldon Jackson parts ways with Saurashtra, moves to Puducherry
One of the top officials at Cricket Association of Puducherry said that it zeroed in on Sheldon in a bid to bolster its batting department.
Sheldon Jackson was the pivotal factor in Saurashtra's maiden Ranji title win.
Sheldon Jackson, who played a key role in Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy win earlier this year, amassing 809 runs in the tournament to ensure his side clinched its first-ever title, has decided to part ways with Saurashtra and will join the Puducherry team.
“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,” Jackson said in a letter to the SCA.
“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 the Saurashtra cricket,” added Jackson.
“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,” said SCA president Jaydev Shah.
The Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) confirmed that it has signed Jackson as one of its guest players, along with Paras Dogra and Pankaj Singh.
A top CAP official said it had it zeroed in on the 33-year-old Jackson in a bid to bolster its batting department. “We have been performing well for the last couple of years, but now with Sheldon in the side, it will strengthen our batting line-up. We were looking for a solid batsman and we are delighted to have Sheldon on board,” the official said.
Jackson has been one of the most consistent performers on the domestic circuit and over the years emerged as the batting mainstay of the Saurashtra side. However, despite his efforts, a national call-up has eluded the seasoned batsman.
Ever since it broke into the Ranji Trophy in 2018, Puducherry has roped in big names as guest players. In the first season, it brought in Abhishek Nayar as a key player. Last season, Puducherry roped in K. B. Arun Karthik and R. Vinay Kumar as professional guest players. But with various issues cropping up, it was decided to look for newer options.
Last week, Puducherry brought in former India pacer and Mumbai ace Aavishkar Salvi as its head coach, while Onkar Khanvilkar and Dishant Yagnik were named assistant coach and fielding coach, respectively.
When Puducherry broke into the Ranji Trophy in 2018, Salvi was appointed the head coach and the team had a decent outing in the plate group. However, in the last season, the CAP hired J. Arunkumar as head coach. While the performances were not too impressive, a fallout saw Arunkumar quitting in the middle of the season.
While there is not much clarity on the 2020-21 Ranji Trophy season, Puducherry officials are confident that Sheldon’s inclusion will boost the team.