Her social media descriptor said and still says- ‘Kind’, ‘Loving’, ‘Patient’, ‘Athletic’, ‘Funny’ and ‘High-spirited!’ Truth be told, that’s exactly what she was, from the time she came on the planet and until she left it, a few hours ago, albeit with a lot of pain and having suffered tremendously so. Sherma Jackson, born in Antigua and Barbuda, was and shall always be remembered around the Caribbean as one of the most talented medium fast bowlers of her time.
Widely-respected cricket analyst and commentator, based in the Caribbean Vernon Springer describes Sherma Jackson as a “Live Wire of a character on the pitch; whilst off it, she was always engaging in fun, laughter all the time.”
For someone who’s always so enthusiastic about talking about cricketing youth from the Caribbean, one cannot doubt that Mr. Springer would be numb all day and for a few days to come.
In a quick conversation, he told me, “This was the worst possible news to wake up to. Couldn’t get my mind off it. ” I cannot disagree.
Sherma Jackson, for all too brief a time she spent playing a sport she absolutely loved, was a multi-faceted personality, it ought to be said.
While on the cricket pitch, a fiery character who would bowl her heart out, shining bright as a medium fast left-armer with a penchant to dominate batswomen, she also excelled off it.
The Antiguan was also talented at the art of hair-dressing.
Cricket, for all the greatness and hook it has for its aspirants and talents, cannot keep some away from fostering other talents.
One of Sherma Jackson’s close friends, Shenia Lake, who was kind to give me time for an interaction recalls her ‘Close friend whom she’d met a long time back at Antigua.”
Ms. Lake shared that Sherma was “An angle of a person… always enthusiastic and witty and with a beautiful smile on her face.” It’s hard to imagine how that must have been since for the last few months and months together, the popular figure in Leeward Islands cricket had been suffering from Ovarian Cancer.
And now that she’s succumbed to stage 4 of the dreaded disease, having fought it cheerily all along, it must be said that Sherma Jackson’s body gave up, her spirit most certainly didn’t!
Shenia Lake recalled the moment that the two became close friends, which unfortunately too saw tragedy being at the heart of the relation. Having lost her father about nine months ago, Ms. Lake had sought the expert services of the late Jackson for her hairdo to attend the last rites.
It was Sherma who cheered up her and hair dressed her for her father’s funeral. The two remained in constant touch ever since.
Perhaps not a candidate that may have made it to the West Indies women’s national team, it must be admitted, however, that in the 2-3 years she played for the Leeward Islands, Sherma Jackson bowled her heart out.
It was back in 2016, where the Leeward Islands team had been introduced to the West Indies Women Regional competition. She was elated to find her name enlisted in a talent pool featuring the likes of Kerisha Powell, Rozel Liburd, Jasmine Clarke and most importantly, captain Shawnisha Hector.
But apart from cricket, this multi-faceted athlete also helped promote a sport to which the women of the Caribbean have taken a particular liking: softball.
She really excelled in it, playing it for no fewer than half a decade. An important member of the Antigua and Barbuda Softball Cricket Association, it was sport that kept Sherma Jackson on her feet and happy whilst she was on it.
Fondly addressed by friends and family as “Queen,” it’s sad to admit that the queen has abandoned the throne, albeit not without infecting with great zest and enthusiasm.
But what one often eschews is to reflect a bit deeper on sports personalities. How’s that? Could it be that behind the smiling and cheery exterior, there’s some inner torment that’s skilfully guised?
While it’s foolish to generalise it for everyone and that’s never the intent, in the case of Sherma Jackson, it ought to be said that this was true in some ways.
She even lost her mother to the emperor of all maladies: Cancer!