“Just A Ploy To Not Pick Someone”: Indian Domestic Great Slams Selection Criteria

Sheldon Jackson, a stalwart in the domestic circuit, found his name missing from the India A squad that will take on New Zealand A in three four-day matches as well as the Duleep Trophy squads that were announced earlier this week. The wicketkeeper-batter, 35, was left disappointed that despite producing good performances, he was ignored with his age being cited as the reason. Jackson said that he was being given that reason since he was 31, while others above 30 did go on to get picked by the selectors.

“If I am thinking of playing for the country and I am not even picked for the Duleep Trophy because someone feels I am too old, how am I going to reach over there? I was expecting to get picked for India A. There’s nothing wrong in expecting it, and you don’t pick me for Duleep Trophy is inexplicable. As a professional, you always strive to upgrade yourself to a higher level. It’s demoralising when it’s stalled for reasons beyond my control,” Jackson told Sportstar in an interview.

“Why is age even a criteria to get picked? If it is, they are taking away the dreams of at least 25 to 30 per cent of domestic cricketers who are in the mid-30s,” he went on to say.

“I am not being the voice for them but I am speaking myself. You cannot stop someone from dreaming of playing at a higher level. I have been advocating this for quite a long time now.”

He went on to hit out at age being a selection criteria, and said that it has “just become a ploy to not pick someone”.

“Now when I am 35, I am being tagged as old but I have been hearing this since I was 31. Now they have picked more than six who are older than 30, so how is it justified then? Back then, I was told no one above 30 was picked. But when a performer is picked for the country in his mid-30s based on his performance, why isn’t it adopted for domestic cricket?” Jackson said.

“I think it’s just become a ploy to not pick someone. When you don’t really have any other reason, you cite his age.”


He also said that while he has an image of being a “frustrated cricketer”, he is a “happy person” who enjoys his life.

“Many times I have heard that he is a frustrated cricketer who is venting out his angst. I am a very happy cricketer and a happy person who has a loving family to go back to. I enjoy my life and I feel asking questions for which we don’t get answers is justified as a professional. That doesn’t have anything to do with my space of mind,” he said.

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