The Sri Lankan Cricketers Association (SLCA) has decided to assist former players who brought glory to the nation with the launching of a special Benevolent Fund at the SSC pavilion yesterday.
The fund totalling Rs. 3.6 million raised through initiatives by SLCA together with the 1996 Cricket World Cup winning team will assist past cricketers financially in times of a medical emergency or any other urgent need.
The appointed trustees include three nominated members of the 1996 team namely Roshan Mahanama, Asanka Gurusinha and Pramodaya Wickremasinghe in addition to SLCA Ex-officio members – Graeme Labrooy, president and Priyantha Udayaratne, treasurer.
Requests for support and financial assistance from the Fund should be made through a member of the 1996 World Cup champion team or a member of the SLCA. The Trustees will approve and allocate the sum and, the SLCA will disburse the funds to the recipient within 48 hours of approval.
Roshan Mahanama, a member of 1996 team said that our former cricketers have brought glory to Sri Lanka with their enormous contribution in international cricket and the aim of the trust is to provide relief and support for past cricketers when they are in need of finances for medical and other purposes. In March last year to mark the 20th anniversary of winning the World Cup 1996 the world champion team played a charity T20 game against a group of past cricketers sponsored by Singer (Sri Lanka).
The gate collection of Rs. 4 million from that match was donated to a water purification project in Polonnaruwa at a ceremony graced by the President of Sri Lanka. In addition Rs. 8 lakhs was gifted to the Cricketers Benefit Fund as an initial deposit. Seven senior members who are over 70 years of age received Rs. 100,000 each in recognition of their services.
The first beneficiaries of the Benevolent Fund will be past cricketers A.J. Samarasekara and Russell Hamer who had served the game for a long period of time as player and coach.