Finding a place in Team India is no easy feat. For a country with immense depth, the board is spoilt for chances as they have numerous options fighting for every single position in the team. But only 11 can play at a time. Thus, and on many occasions, various deserving candidates miss out simply because the competition is very tough and the spots are limited.
One such name is Sheldon Jackson, a famous name in the Indian domestic cricket circuit. The Saurashtra-born batsman scored over 800 runs in the last two Ranji seasons. Overall in 76 First-Class matches, he has amassed 5634 runs at an average of 49.42. His feat also includes 19 centuries and 25 half-centuries.
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Moreover, he averages more than 37 in List A cricket, scoring 2096 runs in 60 matches. After helping Saurashtra to a second-place finish 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season and guiding them to the title the following year, the wicketkeeper-batsman moved to play for Pondicherry.
Despite notching up impressive numbers, the multidimensional player — as he is a reliable batsman and an excellent fielder– has not able to break into the Indian team. In a recent interview with Cricket Next, the 34-year-old explained why, while stating that it is unfair for the selector to overlook him because he has crossed the age of 30.
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“I’m 34. If I’m performing well, better than a 22-23 year old, where is it written in the laws of the game that you’re not eligible to get picked for the national team? Who are those people judging you, and on ability are they judging you? By Ranji score? Fitness? If you’re scoring 800-900 runs consistently for two-three seasons, it means you have to be fit. Or you won’t be able to sustain it. So how can you be judged? Many a times I hear that ‘he’s above 30’. Where is it written that you can’t be picked? And who are these people who are taking away your right from you?” Sheldon Jackson said.
Despite being only one of the four players to score more than 750 runs in a single Ranji season four times, Sheldon continues to be overlooked by the national selectors. In addition to this, he was not even considered for the India A team recently.