Golf day success for Player Hardship Fund

1 September, 2017

The Player Hardship Fund (PHF) was established in 1999 with the objective of providing assistance to cricketers, whether past or present, in times of genuine hardship.

Funds are raised through a variety of sources, with the major contribution coming from the annual ACA Golf Day, which for 18 years has been generously supported by Deutsche Bank.

The 2017 edition at the New South Wales Golf Club proved once again the philanthropic nature of the playing group, when asked to support their fellow ACA members.

Current players in attendance included; David Warner, Josh Hazlewood, Glenn Maxwell, Aaron Finch, Cameron White, Ed Cowan and Shane Watson.

While the past player group included; Dean Jones, Merv Hughes, Simon Katich, Brendan Julian, Tom Moody and Ian Healy.

The fund is facilitated by National Professional Development Manager Ben Smith, who has managed the fund since 2005.

Smith says that the Golf Day is a crucial part of the continuing success of the Hardship Fund.

"The generosity of the past and present players who donate their time can't be underestimated," Smith said.

"Each year, our Golf Day is met with extremely enthusiastic participants who understand that by them attending the day, they are helping their fellow ACA members.

"The ACA exists to support its members; and the Player Hardship Fund really speaks to the fundamental core of why we exist.

While the fund remains confidential for all applicants, since its inception, the PHF has assisted dozens of ACA members totalling a financial contribution in excess of $700,000.

Tasmanian fast bowler Darren McNees was a recipient of the fund in 2017, after a tough time with his one-year-old son, George, who had been extremely ill.

Money raised for Player Hardship Fund at 2017 ACA Golf Day

Supported by Deutsche Bank​, Australian cricket's biggest names, past and present, turned out for the 2017 ACA Golf Day, to help raise funds for the ACA Player Hardship Fund.

"The ACA was alerted to the difficulties that Darren McNees was having, so we went through the process and were able to support them financially while George was going through treatment," Smith said.

"It is the stories like this that make the fund a crucial element of what we do, and an essential part of our organisation."

The beneficiaries of the Player Hardship Fund may also include the immediate families of past and present players.

The fund can assist in a variety of ways including:

  • Financial grants
  • Financial loans
  • Financial education and counselling
  • Wellbeing counselling (for issues such as gambling, relationships, drugs and alcohol, grief etc.)
  • Work placement assistance (interviewing, resume development and job searching assistance)

All applications to the PHF undergo an application process before being submitted to the PHF committee who make the ultimate decisions on the allocation of support.

The fund is administered by the ACA and governed by the Player Hardship Committee comprising of:
Alistair Nicholson - ACA Chief Executive
, Chum Darvall - Non-Executive Vice Chairman Deutsche Bank Australia and New Zealand, Paul Sheahan AM - former Australian Test cricketer and Michael Kasprowicz - former Australian Test cricketer and ACA President.

For further details or for a confidential application, please contact Ben Smith on 613 9698 7200 or email

The George McNees story

George McNees, son of former Cricket Tasmania fast bowler Darren, has been battling brain cancer at The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. This is his story.

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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