Sunday, February 25, 2024

Remembering Baboon da and his contributions to cricket

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Today, the cricketing community mourns the loss of a true champion, a mentor, and a visionary coach, Abdur Robb, fondly known as Baboon da. His passing leaves behind a void that seems almost impossible to fill, as his dedication to uplifting the sport and nurturing young cricketers was truly unmatched.

Having had the privilege of closely witnessing his work, I can attest to the profound impact Abdur Robb had on cricket in Assam. As the coach of the Guwahati Cricket Coaching Centre from its inception in 1985-86, he laid the foundation for countless aspiring cricketers, instilling in them not just skills but also values of dedication and perseverance.

His contributions extended beyond coaching. He was a sports pensioner of both the Government of Assam and the Assam Cricket Association, a testament to his enduring commitment to the sport at both the grassroots and organizational levels. Abdur Robb’s tireless efforts were recognized by the ACA, with only two individuals (the other one is Abdul Matin), including him, being honoured with such distinction.

His role as the manual scoreboard operator at the ACA in Nehru Stadium during numerous ODI matches reflected his dedication to the game’s technical aspects, ensuring smooth operations and contributing to the overall cricketing experience.

Yet, Abdur Robb’s legacy extends far beyond coaching and administration. He was the driving force behind the New Star Club, serving as its founder and coach until his last breath. Under his guidance, aspiring talents like Late Zaheer Eqbal Alam, Gautam Dutta, Nasir Gul Khan, and many others flourished, embodying his teachings on and off the field.

Despite facing challenges, including the lack of practice grounds in his early days, Abdur Robb never wavered in his resolve to nurture cricketing talent and provide a platform for their growth. His unwavering dedication to the welfare of his players and the sport itself is a testament to his indomitable spirit and passion for cricket.

Today, as we bid farewell to a remarkable coach, mentor, and friend, let us honour Abdur Robb’s memory by continuing to uphold the values he instilled in us and by carrying forward his legacy of dedication, perseverance, and love for the game.

Rest in peace, Baboon da. Your contributions to cricket will forever be cherished and remembered.

Robb’s death: Renowned cricket coach and sports organizer Abdur Robb passed away on February 13 at around 10.30 am at his residence in Guwahati after a prolonged illness. He was 80.

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