New Delhi: Sport Minister Ajay Maken has sanctioned ex-gratia assistance of Rs 3,44,703 to Dronacharya awardee cricket coach Desh Prem Azad from the National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons.

The 73-year-old former cricketer, who captained Punjab in Ranji trophy in 1964, has been living in indigent condition for his medical treatment.

Taking cognizance of his poor financial position, Maken sanctioned the ex-gratia to Azad, who coached some big names such as Kapil Dev, Harbhajan Singh, Yograj Singh, Chetan Sharma and Ashok Malhotra during his stint.

Under the Scheme of National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports provides lump sum financial assistance to outstanding sportspersons of the past, who are facing financial distress.