Halicharan Narzary wants to 'make Assam smile again'

Midfielder Halicharan Narzary, who hails from Assam, expressed his urge to help the northeastern state, which had been ravaged by torrential rainfall and subsequent floods.

Halicharan Narzary (R) was part of the Indian team which played in the AFC Asian Cup at UAE earlier this year.   -  Getty Images

Apart from his determination of making a mark in the national team after returning from a long injury lay-off, midfielder Halicharan Narzary — who hails from Assam — has another yearning at the back of his mind.

“I want to make Assam smile again,” he said. “Assam has suffered a lot from the recent floods. But it’s time to make it (Assam) smile again.”

Assam had been ravaged by torrential rainfall and subsequent floods, with river Brahmaputra flowing above its danger mark, leaving millions displaced and several dead.

“I was in Chennai for my rehab program but I could feel the pain of Assam every moment. I could not dare to switch on the television set. The agony and torment of Assam has urged me to push more,” he added.

Narzary is currently in the ongoing preparatory camp in Goa for India’s forthcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers against Oman and Asian champions Qatar. India plays Oman on September 5 in Guwahati followed by Qatar in Doha on September 10.

Referring to his call up to the national team camp, Narzary added: “After the injury lay-off, I have undergone the rehab programme to get myself ready for the camp. It’s all about the national team duty which I can’t afford to compromise. I want to be in the best shape to get selected for the first match of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.”

Incidentally, the  winger made his national team debut in Guwahati in 2015 during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 play-off qualifiers against Nepal. “Making my national team debut in front of my own home crowd was a dream come true for me. We had a great result against Nepal. Later, we had had a great win against Laos in Guwahati. It’s our lucky venue.”

India was clubbed with Oman in the round 2 of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. In the opener, the Gulf nation pipped the Blue Tigers 2-1 in Bengaluru before securing a 3-0 win in Muscat in the return leg. The last encounter between the two countries, which was a friendly match prior to the Asian Cup, ended in a goalless draw.

“We are aware of the past results but it’s time to look forward. The goalless draw against Oman was a motivational booster. If we can play to our potential, we can script a positive result against Oman,” he said.

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