India, Saurashtra, Sheldon Jackson, BCCI
Jackson finished the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 as Saurashtra’s top run-scorer having scored 854 runs in 11 games at an average of over 47 which included two centuries and seven fifties. @ Facebook/Sheldon Jackson

Sheldon Jackson is among the many Indian players knocking at the doors of the selectors. There is a palpable desire for a breakthrough which has kept eluding the Saurashtra batsman despite delivering consistent performances in the domestic circuit. Perhaps that could explain his series of tweets on Monday, directed at the BCCI, which begged for answers about his omission.

The 32-year-old seasoned campaigner could not even make it to the Duleep Trophy squad this year with records flooding his career graph last season. Jackson finished the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 as Saurashtra’s top run-scorer having scored 854 runs in 11 games at an average of over 47 which included two centuries and seven fifties.

“It’s a little upsetting. I have been waiting for four years. To be honest, even I don’t know why I have not been selected. I guess there are not many players who have performed decently well at all the levels and never got picked. Even they don’t know the reason. When you ask them (BCCI) for clarity, they are not very happy about it,” Jackson tells CricketCountry while on his way to Ahmedabad.

READ: Jackson voices out discontent at BCCI for lack of transparency during selection

While he’s still left searching for answers, Jackson reckons that the BCCI can make it easier for players by providing reasons for their omission.

“If a player has done decently well throughout the year, they should not end up wondering why they did not get selected. The BCCI is like our parent, so if we don’t ask them questions, then how are we going to get the answers we need? I will have to go to the institution to find out so that I can improve my performances and walk in the direction that they need me to walk in,” he said.

“It’s been four years now since the selection committee has come in and since I got dropped after playing in the Duleep Trophy. I have met them (selectors) face to face several times, but they never gave me a reason why. I am not asking them to select me. Don’t select me! In India, there are many more talented and better performing players than me. I come after them. But at least when you are performing and when you are not performing, they should tell you that these are the reasons or areas you need to improve. And when you are performing and they don’t pick you, then should inform that we don’t have the game. We will take it. So, then you can walk on the path of improvement rather than walking on the path of wondering why.”

ALSO READ: Giving his best, Jalaj Saxena continues to hope for the best

Jackson is perturbed by his omission and is aware that his tweets could have its own implications. “Yeah, I am aware of that, but if you see, I have not gone against anyone. I have not used any harsh words or anything. There have been players who have done this before me, and they have even used harsher words. In the case of my tweet, my reasoning was stronger. I have not questioned anyone. I have only asked them to be transparent,” he said.

What has added to the disappointment is the fact that no Saurashtra player has made the cut despite the team reaching the Ranji Trophy finals thrice in the last five years.

“For a small team like us, to reach the Ranji final, is a big thing and we have done it thrice. In the last six to seven years, we have done it four times. To reach a Ranji Trophy final is huge, it’s not a joke,” he said.

In keeping with the Ranji Trophy, it was Jackson and India Test veteran Cheteshwar Pujara, who powered Saurashtra to the final last year after brushing aside heavyweights Karnataka in the semi-final. Jackson in fact, played two crucial knocks in the knockout matches, scoring 73* and 100 in Saurashtra’s chases of 372 and 279 in the quarter-final against Uttar Pradesh and the semis against Karnataka. The duo were involved in two big partnerships of 136 and 214 that sealed the matches, the second coming after Saurashtra were 23/3.

ALSO READ: Ranji Trophy 2018-19, 2nd semi-final, Day 5: Pujara, Sheldon centuries send Saurashtra into final

Jackson was confident that his innings against Karnataka would raise his stakes. “I thought that innings – winning the match against Karnataka and supporting Puji – should have been my breakthrough innings. My impression earlier was like, ‘yeh aata hai aur saala sirf maarta hai! (he comes and just smashes the ball) So, I thought that innings would have answered a lot of questions. But after that I was not picked in the Irani Trophy side. How long do you expect someone to wait?” he questioned.

The wait for an India call up still continues, but Jackson, who turns a year older, on September 27, is ready to play the waiting game. “There is no option! You have to take rejections in your stride, whether you like it or not. They should not just slam the door on our face, but give us a reason,” he said.

“My entire life, my family runs on this. If I want to stand up and support my family and give them a better future, what do I have to do, I have to play cricket and if I have to play cricket, I at least need to know why. The more I play, the more I can secure my future,” he made it clear.