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Maynard, Trescothick and Rose support PCA Benevolent Fund

Matt Maynard, Marcus Trescothick and Brian Rose are among seven cricketers who have appeared in a new film which highlights the range of support provided to past and present players and their immediate family members in times of crisis by the PCA Benevolent Fund.

The film, which was released this week and can be viewed here, also features former England Under 19s duo Simon Cusden (Kent and Derbyshire) and Chris Schofield (Yorkshire) as well as Wayne Law (Glamorgan) and Josh Mierkalns (Nottinghamshire) who have also been helped by the PCA Benevolent Fund, which is generously supported by Royal London, in times of crisis in their lives.

The video comes after Royal London continued their support of the PCA Benevolent Fund by pledging a further £50,000 which will be used to assist past and present cricketers in England and Wales.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Professional Cricketers’ Association and to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, the PCA have launched a Legacy Year Appeal with the aim of raising a further £250,000 for the Benevolent Fund. The registered charity, which was established in 2000, is part of the PCA’s commitment to helping former and current players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval, or to readjust to the world beyond the game.

Maynard and Trescothick have both benefited from counselling funded by the Benevolent Fund, Maynard and his family to help cope with grief following the death of his son Tom in tragic circumstances, and Trescothick for depression.

“I still very much have dark days but I know that I can pick up the phone and speak to my counsellor should I need to and he will be there for me,” said Maynard, who is now Somerset’s director of cricket.

Trescothick has campaigned to raise awareness of mental health since he was diagnosed with depression 10 years ago. “It was the diagnosis of depression and anxiety that I needed,” he said. “I still live in fear and I still hate the process of when it goes wrong. Cricketers or sportsmen or anybody from any walk of life are no different. We all suffer from the same problem.”

Cusden and Law both spent periods rehabilitating from their addictions in clinics which were funded by the Benevolent Fund. Cusden spent three months recovering from his addiction to alcohol after he attempted to drown himself and Law had three weeks in a clinic in Bristol last year after he became addicted to alcohol and painkillers following the break-up of a long-term relationship.

Cusden was in Bali when he tied a rock to his foot and jumped into a river. Having survived the suicide attempt he contacted the PCA and received treatment as soon as he returned to England.

“Without the PCA I would be dead, no doubt,” Cusden said. “Without the PCA taking just 20 minutes to respond to my rescue call from the other side of the world I would have relapsed, I have no doubt about that.

“If I had relapsed I would have died either from the effects of alcohol or I would have taken my own life.”

Law received financial help from the Benevolent Fund in 2014 when he first split up from his partner. When the relationship broke down again last year, the Benevolent Fund stepped in to support the Welshman.

“Depressed, anxiety whatever you feel, you have to speak to people because there’s people that will help you. I have had a lot of help and a lot of financial help as well and the PCA have saved my life,” Law said.

Rose, who suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis, received funding for dental implants which have helped him regain his confidence which he lost after his teeth fell out.

Mierkalns has been continually supported by the Benevolent Fund since his county career was cut short by ulcerative colitis which required three major operations and Schofield received specialist hearing aids after he fractured his skull in a fall from an icy roof.

All have decided to speak out to show their appreciation of the support they have received from the Benevolent Fund in dealing with the difficulties they have encountered while wanting to encourage other PCA members to reach out for help.

“One of the hardest things for sportsmen to do is to ask for help. We all need a bit of help some day or at some time and that’s exactly what the PCA Benevolent Fund is there for,” said PCA President Andrew Flintoff.

“I had no idea, up until being part of it, of the work that they do. From kitting out people’s houses, helping them with operations or putting them in touch with the right people for therapy or whatever help they need.”

To help the PCA Benevolent Fund continue to provide wide-ranging support you can donate £5 by texting ‘ BENF17 £5 ‘ to 70070 or my visiting www.justgiving.com/pcabenevolent.

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