Iconic voice falls silent, forever | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 05, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 05, 2012

Iconic voice falls silent, forever


Abdul Hamid is no more. The pioneer of Bengali sports commentary in our country passed away at the city's United Hospital at 6:20am on Saturday. He was 77.
Hamid, suffering from bone cancer, was put on life support the previous noon after his condition deteriorated following a surgery on his spinal cord.
Admired and adored by millions for his baritone voice and simple narrative of words, Hamid was the forerunner of a golden generation of sports commentators which includes the late Taufiq Aziz Khan, the late Khoda Boksh Mridha, Nikhil Ranjan Das and Manjur Ahsan Mintu -- who enthralled the sports-loving masses with their rich vocabulary, sense of proportion and a keen understanding of sports in general.
The noted sports personality was buried at the Mirpur Martyred Intellectual Graveyard, but not before namaz-e-janazas at Gulshan Niketon, Gandaria East End Club premises and Bangabandhu National Stadium -- a favourite venue of the deceased -- where friends, relatives and people of the sports fraternity paid their last respects.
Manjur Ahsan Mintu, one of his fellow commentators who was introduced to the Bengali commentary of Radio Bangladesh by Hamid, recollected fond memories after attending the janaza at the BNS yesterday.
“I used to deliver commentary on radio in English when Hamid bhai one day invited me to do the Bengali commentary for Radio Bangladesh in 1973, and since that day I became a colleague and a lifelong friend,” Mintu said.
“In those days there was hardly any specialisation in sports. We used to participate in all sports that went around -- football, cricket, volleyball, handball. And we gave everything we had for whatever we earned. He played with a passion and gave his best as a sports commentator and journalist,” said veteran sports journalist Kamruzzaman, a contemporary of Hamid's.
Abdul Hamid was a renaissance man in the truest sense.
Born in 1935 at Nobodeep, Nadia in India, Hamid was schooled in Gandaria, Old Dhaka, but it was at Jagannath College that he attracted widespread attention while commentating on a football match.
His sporting career flourished as he kept playing football, cricket and volleyball simultaneously, representing the East End Club and the Wanderers Club in football in the late 50s before drifting to another profession altogether -- banking.
But it was sports commentary that made him a household name. Having started with Bangladesh Radio's Urdu commentary in 1963, Hamid began Bengali commentary in 1973 and immediately gained wide recognition. He had also started anchoring sports programmes on Bangladesh Television from 1964.
Alongside he was also involved with sports journalism, working for Daily Jehad, Daily Azad and Daily Inquilab. He had been working as sports editor in Daily Amader Shomoy from 2003 till his death.
For his wide contribution to sports, Hamid was felicitated with the National Sports Award in 1976 and Ekushey Award in 2003.
In death he has left behind countless admirers and a memory of his rich voice, the absence of which will be a source of sorrow for sports lovers countrywide.

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