‘Jersey’ Ending, Explained: Did Arjun Make It To The Indian Cricket Team? Did He Survive?


Unable to buy the Team India jersey for his son, Arjun, embarks on a journey to win back his popularity as a cricketer. “Jersey,” the film, begins with the launch of a book by the same name. The book has already become popular and is running out of stock at most stores. We witness a young man buying the last copy of “Jersey” at a bookstore, which he hands over to a woman who was desperately searching for the book. He added that he was Arjun Talwar’s son, the man on whom the book was based. And thus, we are taken back to Ketan’s childhood years that were spent with his loving father, who was once a promising batsman.

‘Jersey’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Arjun was a devoted father; every morning, he took Ketan to the cricket academy. On the way to the academy, Ketan discusses how his teammate has the original Team India jersey, and that was perhaps the reason why he was chosen to be the captain of their team. Arjun did not pay much heed to his son’s argument, but after reaching the academy, he reminded his son that a jersey could not make a difference. Nonetheless, knowing how desperately his son wanted the jersey, he agreed to gift it to him on his birthday. On their way back home, Arjun took his son to the shop to buy the jersey. He learned that the original Team India jersey was priced at 500, an amount that he could not afford to spend. He left the store with Ketan, hoping to find some solution before his son’s birthday.

He asked his wife, Vidya, for money, but she too rejected his demand. Vidya worked in hospitality and had to support her entire household financially. She wanted him to pay the electricity bill, fix the water leakage, and talk to a lawyer to get his job back. Arjun was a Grade III officer; he was suspended from his job after an allegation of a food scam. He had been unemployed for two years now. Arjun was depressed with the way his life turned out. The fact that he could not even buy his son a jersey for his birthday made him hate his situation. A few of his friends joined him at his house the next morning. Arjun agreed to play a round of cards with the 100 rupees his wife had left to pay for electricity. But luck was not on his side, and he lost that as well. Vidya was starting to lose hope in Arjun. She felt overwhelmed with all the responsibility she had, and her husband did very little to make it better.

Vidya had fallen in love with Arjun when he was young and confident. He was one of the best batsmen at that time, and she was his constant support. She left her house after her father refused to accept their relationship since they were from different communities. The two married at a young age, and with Ketan being born, Arjun had a family to support. He made it to the Indian team twice, but for internal political reasons, his name was ultimately left out. At the age of 26, when Arjun learned that he did not make it to the Indian team, he gave up on his dreams. He refused to play cricket any longer and accepted the government job offer. What he thought would be a worthwhile sacrifice turned into an even worse disaster. His lawyer asked him to arrange 50,000 rupees, and he would get him his job back, but Arjun did not wish to take the corrupt path. Refusing to settle for a cheaper copy of the jersey, Arjun went from place to place in a hopeless attempt to buy his son his birthday gift.

Major Spoilers Ahead

How Did Arjun Plan To Buy His Son The Jersey? Did He Succeed?

Arjun was on good terms with the assistant coach of the academy, Baali. Baali had always believed in Arjun and wanted him to work in his field of interest. He had previously offered the job of assistant coach to Arjun, but he was not too keen on it. That evening, when Arjun was struggling to find a way to gift his son the jersey the next day, Baali found him and offered him to play. It was a charity event where the Punjab team was playing against the New Zealand team. They were short of one player, and Baali convinced them to accept Arjun for the position. He believed that by playing this match, Arjun could easily get the job. Arjun was initially not interested, but he later agreed when Baali mentioned how young cricketers agreed to play for a thousand bucks. Arjun decided to play cricket only for his son.

While everyone doubted Arjun’s ability because he was 36 years old by then, he left everyone spellbound. He was one of the best players in the match and impressed the entire team. His son watched his father play for the first time and bowed down to him after witnessing his brilliance. That was one of the biggest achievements for Arjun, to earn the respect of his son. But his happiness was short-lived as he learned that he would not be paid for the match by Baali. Since it was a charity event, the players’ fees were contributed to the charity organization. Arjun was furious. He left in anger, knowing that he was unable to fulfil his son’s request.

When Ketan continuously pestered Arjun for his jersey, he slapped him and instantly regretted it. He finally attempted to take money from Vidya’s purse, but she caught him in the act. She insulted him for stealing from his wife and asked him to take responsibility and face situations instead of running away from them. When Ketan lied to his mother, saying that it was a ball that hit him on his face, Arjun was left shame-faced. His son added that no one would believe that his father slapped him since he was always loving towards Ketan. Arjun realized that he was becoming his worst self due to his financial condition and decided to give cricket another chance. He wanted to join the academy not as an assistant coach but as a player.

‘Jersey’ Ending Explained: Did Arjun Make It To The Indian Cricket Team? What Was The Reason Behind Arjun’s Demise?

Arjun was laughed at by his fellow players. He waited for his chance, but he was never called for practice. When the Punjab cricket board was selecting players for the Ranji Trophy, the coach vouched for Arjun after watching him play at the charity event. While he was initially dismissed for his age, they later considered him. Jasleen Shergill, a journalist, and girlfriend of his teammate, wrote an article on Arjun. She noticed Arjun’s brilliance and wrote about how age was just a number to him. This played a decisive role in changing the board’s mind, and he was selected to attend the one-month training phase before the final selection. After a month of hard work, Arjun was selected to play for the Punjab team in the Ranji Trophy tournament.

Arjun was extremely happy; he was closer to his dream, and he felt pride after a long time. Even though he started to distance himself from his family, his son continued to be his biggest cheerleader. Vidya was not happy with Arjun’s decision to join cricket. Nonetheless, Arjun proved himself with one match after another. He was not only a dependable player but also excellent at his skills. He emerged as the most prominent face in the entire tournament. The last match with Karnataka was not an easy one, but it was Arjun’s perseverance that helped the Punjab team emerge as the winners. While Arjun was shining on the field, he faced a minor setback with his health. Though the doctor asked them to not worry, Vidya wanted Arjun to choose between his family and cricket. Faced with a difficult decision to make, Arjun asked Ketan what he wanted his father to do. Ketan innocently asked his father to continue playing with all his heart. He considered his father a hero, and for Arjun, that was his biggest achievement. Arjun announced to Vidya that he would continue playing. After asking Arjun to make a choice, Vidya felt guilty the entire time. When Arjun said that he chose cricket, she gave him the plane tickets she had booked for him, expressing her support. When Arjun and his team won the Ranji trophy, his wife and son watched him on the television with pride.

In the end, we learn that it was Jasleen Shergill who wrote a book on Arjun’s life and named it “Jersey.” The Indian Cricket Board hosted a felicitation ceremony for Arjun Talwar. Ketan and Vidya attended the ceremony, but before that, Arjun’s doctor had a word with Ketan. It was only then that Ketan learned that his father had a heart condition called arrhythmia. The doctor recommended that he quit playing cricket and try to avoid situations that would stress him. That was the reason why Arjun left cricket and not because he had given up hope. Ketan, in his final speech at the ceremony, said that people thought his father passed away trying to make it big, but the truth was that he knew he could lose his life, but he chose to keep on trying. The Indian Cricket Board announced that after searching old documents, it was found that Arjun Talwar had made it to the Indian team after the Ranji tournament. His name was there in the list of players who were chosen to play against England. He was handed the Indian cricket team jersey that his father would have worn had he been alive. Arjun’s wish to gift his son a jersey had come true after 25 years.

“Jersey” is an emotional, romantic film that feels a bit too stretched. Especially with the final revelation, it went a tad overboard with the drama. I thought it was interesting to watch the accuracy of little details from the late 80s and 90s popular culture. Overall, an entertaining watch with the usual tropes, a predictable storyline, and an ordinary making.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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