Based out of Melbourne, Australia, Anand Chukka and Praveen Nalla, had two things in common—one was their love for cricket and second, the desire to make a difference in the society. They came together in 2015 to start International Celebrity Cricket League, a non-professional cricket league made up of invited celebrities to support a global cause through sports and entertainment. Hashtag Magazine gets talking to the duo…
It was their quest for higher education that took both Anand Chukka and Praveen Nalla from Hyderabad to Australia in the year 2000. Having settled in Melbourne, both were perusing their successful careers until destiny and their love for cricket got them together. “We wanted to launch a platform that could spread a social message. Since we weren’t politicians or celebrities, we knew it would be difficult to do so easily. While looking at the best way to take this initiative forward, we realised there were three fool-proof platforms that had massive reach—politics, entertainment and sports. We decided to combine two of these ingredients and launched International Celebrity Cricket League (ICCL) a non-professional cricket league made up of invited celebrities to support a global cause through sports and entertainment. Rather than just donating money, we wanted to empower and create a sustainable legacy that could benefit thousands of deserving people,” shares Anand.
Rather than just donating money, we wanted to empower and create a sustainable legacy that could benefit thousands of deserving people.
Having embarked on this journey five years ago, ICCL has now managed to become a wonderful platform for raising awareness that embraces differences and focuses on abilities and not disabilities. This year, thanks to the pandemic, the condition of the disabled cricketers was dire, and hence ICCL stepped-in just in time and reached out to more than 190 players along with the help of Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India. Anand and Praveen share their view, “Abilities and not dis-abilities should be the mantra and every individual has the right to basic entitlement, dignity, respect and opportunity to showcase their talents. We are privileged we got the opportunity to show our gratitude towards our motherland.”
Abilities and not disabilities should be the mantra and every individual has the right to basic entitlement, dignity, respect and opportunity to showcase their talents.
Slowly and steadily ICCL is growing into a force to reckon with, from movie stars to cricketers everyone has come forward to give this initiative a big push. Earlier last month, ICCL launched the Happiness Cup, a platform and tournament that celebrates and supports India’s challenged cricketers. Anand and Praveen have big plans for 2021 with participation from celebs, government and other institutions. “We will be organising this event on a much larger scale. Our event will have eight teams and many differently-abled players will compete nationally to be part of the HAP CUP 2021. We are also looking to collaborate and execute live telecast on mainstream channels. Our philosophy is clear, we believe leaders are not here to lead, but leaders are here for others to grow,” they sign off.
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