Keerthi Ravoori

CHICAGO: The Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar inaugurated the Illinois Cricket Association [ICA] amidst fanfare and unhinged excitement from the cricketing fraternity at Wyndham Hotel in Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb.

This ceremonial launching of the Association unveiled inspiring stories of enthusiastic stewardship to advance cricket in Illinois, while lending formidable partnership to Gavaskar’s Heart2Heart Foundation. The launching ceremony attracted Chicago community’s prominent business, civic and community leaders who joined in the inaugural ceremony hosted in partnership with Indian American Business Council (IABC).

A great cricketer of all times Sunil Gavaskar shared the remarkable episodes of his cricketing journey that was replete with his magnificent record-breaking performances on the pitch particularly against some of the world’s hostile fast bowlers. Inaugurating the Association, Sunil Gavaskar congratulated the leadership of Illinois Cricket Association and praised them for their vision in launching ambitious cricket tournaments enlisting youth in the Midwest America.  Gavaskar recalled the glorious innings he played and added now he has embarked on a new altruistic journey batting for the children with congenital heart ailments and to provide them with free corrective surgeries.

 Nagasubramaniam ‘Subbu’ Iyer, President of Illinois Cricket Association in his welcome address thanked Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar for his presence and praised him as a man with a genuine heart for Cricket and Humanity. Iyer said our long-term objective is to acquire cricket-designated land and build the necessary infrastructure. He introduced the ICA core Team including Naresh Chauhan, Palak, Nick, Swapnil, Vinod, Shernik& Nirav – the team he said is vigorously committed to “One team & One dream’.

Ajeet Singh, President of Indian American Business Council in his remarks said the palpable excitement augurs well for an exciting drive of youngsters taking up cricket passionately. Ajeet Singh said with the ceremonial launch of Illinois Cricket Association by Cricket Legend Sunil Gavaskar sets in motion a significant trajectory of growth of cricket in the Midwest.

Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Chair of the Illinois Medical Board in his remarks hailed Gavaskar as one of the greatest cricketers of all times and added, he is a true champion for the children afflicted with congenital heart conditions and praised him for saving the lives of children by providing free access to life-saving surgeries to the poor parents.

Keerthi Kumar Ravoori, Chair, Indian American Business Council served as the moderator in a Heart-to-Heart conversation with the cricket Superstar,described Gavaskar as a Global Cricket Superstar, a man with a golden heart.

Dr. Suresh Reddy, Trustee of Oakbrook Village introduced Sunil Gavaskar and presented a special proclamation from the village of Oakbrook extolling the cricket hero and his distinguished cricketing career.

Earlier, the inaugural ceremony began with the lamp lighting ceremony joined by Cook County Commission Kevin Morrison, State Rep Michelle Mussman, Dr. Sreenivas Reddy, Ajeet Singh, Subbu Iyer, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Naresh Sunil Shah, Anil Oraskar, Mafat Patel, Dr. Nilesh Patel, Dr. & Mrs. Bhupinder Beri, Murugesh Kasilingam, Vinita Gulabani,Hitesh Gandhi,Vibha Rajput, AbirMaru,SatishDadepogu – while Naresh Chauhan Vice President of the association along with his team honored Sunil Gavaskar with shawl and flower bouquet. Arvind Thiagarajan presented an overview of Heart2Heart Foundation and how it actively saving the lives of children afflicted with congenital heart conditions.

Prachi Jaitly conducted the event as an Emcee; while Nick Verma, Director, ICA proposed a vote of thanks that was followed by a private dinner.