Sheldon Jackson, the 33-year-old batsman, realised that in order to make a return to the Indian Premier League (IPL) he had to up his fitness. Jackson plied his trade for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 2017 edition of the T20 tournament, but hasn’t featured ever since. Despite the snubs, Jackson feels that he has the potential to give the youngsters a run for their money.
The right-hander had an incredible season in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy, finishing as champion Saurashtra’s leading run-scorer. In 10 matches, Jackson notched 809 runs at an average of 50.56. His top score of 186 came against Madhya Pradesh in Indore.
I lost weight and worked on building muscle: Sheldon Jackson
“I am 33 but I can proudly compete with a 22-year-old. I realised to get back in the IPL or play at a higher level, I needed this tuning of not just the mind but the body as well. I have been training with Marshall [a gym instructor] and have seen a huge change in myself.
Now, I’m even more hungry to keep playing. Because I think I found my recovery times improving as the season went along,” Jackson was quoted as saying in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
“I used to think cricket was a skill sport, but I was wrong. My friends Marshall and Visakha, who I work out with, pushed me to get physically fit. I could sense when I was out on the field the whole day, how different I felt once I lost weight and worked on building muscle,” he added.
Jackson is now set to serve his Income Tax office and said that a job outside cricketers helps a player to stay financially stable. He understands that if a cricketer doesn’t play the IPL, he needs a job security going forward. The Ranji Trophy victory has also given him confidence to perform well.
In the final against Bengal at the SCA Stadium, Jackson could only manage scores of 14 and 12*. However, Saurashtra edged their opponent out on the basis of first-innings lead. In the semi-final though against Gujarat, Jackson’s 103 scripted a 92-run victory for Saurashtra and booked a berth for Finals day.
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