Solanki takes pride in PCA tenure
Reflecting on his time as Professional Cricketers' Association chairman, Vikram Solanki is most proud of having helped a range of players past and present - from young professionals through to England internationals.
Solanki, who turns 37 on April 1, knows what it is like to start out in the county game and to represent his country, having done the latter 54 times. That was in 51 one-day and three Twenty20 internationals from 2000 to 2007.
The elegant batsman has played all his county cricket to date for Worcestershire, but ended a 20-year association there to join Surrey. Also this winter, he has handed the PCA chairmanship to Glamorgan captain Mark Wallace.
Solanki, who was succeeded by wicketkeeper-batsman Wallace on January 30, served successive two-year terms and stood in as interim chief executive before Angus Porter was appointed.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, former Worcestershire skipper Solanki said: "What I'm most proud of is the ability of the PCA to be there for the guy that is just starting out on his county contract right through to representing the stars of England cricket on all matters.
"It's something that I think the organisation can be very proud of and it's certainly something that I've been pleased to have been involved in."
Having balanced the chairmanship with county captaincy, which he held from 2005 to 2010, Solanki is sure 31-year-old Wallace can do likewise.
"I think Mark will be a brilliant chairman. He is somebody that understands the values and the remit of the PCA very well," he added. "He's been a players rep for a good number of years now. He is a very popular personality around the county scene.
"I think the organisation is in a very good place at the moment. I'm very grateful for my time at the PCA. I think it was hugely beneficial personally but I'm glad to be handing over the position of chairman to Mark with the organisation being in such a good place."
Towards the end of Solanki's tenure the PCA launched 'Mind Matters', a series of online tutorials with the intention of educating its members to help identify crucial warning signs of mental health problems and how to get help.
The tutorials are presented by Marcus Trescothick and feature contributions from Michael Yardy and Tim Ambrose - all who have suffered from depression. Also Andrew Flintoff talks about his personal problems with them.
"The 'Mind Matters' tutorials address a number of serious issues, including anxiety, depression and addiction," Solanki explained.
"Mental health problems are suffered in silence by many, but we are fortunate that several PCA members have spoken out about their own issues.
"Being in the public spotlight brings responsibilities for professional sportspeople - but it also creates the opportunity to set an example, and if the testimony of players has encouraged others to seek help, that is something of which they, and the PCA, can be very proud."