Volleyball player Abdul Baten brings glory to Assam

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 12 d ago
Abdul Baten, Volleyball player from Assam
Abdul Baten, Volleyball player from Assam

 

Mukut Sarma/Guwahati

Volleyball is a very popular and cherished sport in rural areas of Assam. The Nagarbera area of Kamrup district is no exception. The villagers have been drenched in the frenzy of volleyball for decades. It was 20-25 years ago, volleyball frenzy in the Nagarbera area stirred the heart of a child, Abdul Baten. Baten fell in love with volleyball as a child after enjoying the spectacular games of Mohammad Sadique and Swakshar Talukdar in volleyball tournaments held in Bhakhuradia village of Nagarbera. It was then that he desired to become a national-level player.

That little boy, Abdul Baten, is today a well-known name in volleyball and has been representing Assam at the national level for nearly a decade. Baten has been in the Assam team since 2014 and the Assam State Electricity Board team since 2015. At present, he is a name from Assam next to former India captain Abhijit Bhattacharyya, in the country’s volleyball arena.

Baten was born on August 1, 1997, in Bhakhuradia village of Nagarbera in Kamrup district. Baten, the youngest son of his father Hatem Ali, and Jahanara Begum, took his first lessons in volleyball under the supervision of coach Nabir Hussain in his village.

Abdul Baten with the Nationals runners-up trophy at Bhubhaneshwar

"Since childhood, I have seen an atmosphere of volleyball in my native village. When we were young, big volleyball tournaments were held in our village. Famous players from different parts of the state took part in those events. When I was a child, I was impressed by the tremendous performance of leading players like Mohammad Sadique, Swakshar Talukdar, etc. Since then I developed a passion for volleyball. My parents also encouraged me to play volleyball since childhood. This was the beginning of my career," he told Awaz -the Voice.

Abdul Baten later received scientific training in volleyball from leading coaches such as Ganesh Sarma, Manoj Dey, and former Assam State Electricity Board player Pradeep Sarma and improved himself into a player of caliber. The talented player, who recently played for Guwahati in the inter-district volleyball tournament, is currently preparing for the Senior National Volleyball Championship.

The Assam Volleyball team with Abdul Baten (second from right)

It is often seen that sports lovers throng the volleyball courts all over the state to enjoy the aggressive game of the lanky Baten as he overcomes every opponent's impenetrable block with his great smashes.

He showed his talent in the national-level rural tournament held in Kolkata in 2011-12. In the tournament, the Assam team managed to bring glory to the state by finishing runners-up. He has never looked back after that. Baten has achieved the glory of donning the Assam team jersey in many national-level volleyball tournaments.

Baten's team reached the semifinals of the 58th School National Games held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat from April 21-26, 2012. He then represented Assam in the Junior National Volleyball Championship held in Chandigarh from December 23-28, 2014.

Abdul Baten receiving a trophy

The Nagarbera athlete, who later played for Assam in every national tournament, played a key role in Assam's historic success in the 2020 Senior National Volleyball Championship held in Bhubaneswar. That year, Assam made history by reaching the final of the Senior National Volleyball Championship for the first time.

It was because of this performance, that Assam qualified to participate in the prestigious Federation Cup volleyball tournament for the first time ever.

"I am currently preparing for the Senior National Volleyball Championship. I recently represented Guwahati in the inter-district volleyball tournament and our team finished as the runner-up. Now we are aiming to perform well for Assam in the senior nationals,” Baten said.

Deepak Kumar Das, a senior volleyball coach and former player from Assam, said, "Baten is one of the best volleyball players of Assam. He is our pride. He used to come from time to time to play as a guest player for the East Nalbari Volleyball Coaching Centre. At that time, I was thrilled to see Baten's talent and skill.

ALSO READDragon dance in front of Kali Temple: Chinese New Year festivities in Kolkata

"There are very few talented players like him in Assam. He has played for Assam for many years, played for the Assam State Electricity Board, and it is unfortunate that even after that a skilled player like him doesn't have a regular job. If the government does not take the necessary initiatives for such players, no player will be interested in volleyball. Sports will flourish in Assam only if such talented sportspersons can benefit from the special sports policy of the government."