Hashim Khan - Sporting
Written by SquashMagazine   

Like a rare Pearl, his talent remained hidden from the world for most of his life.

But when he finally burst onto the international squash scene, Hashim Khan stunned the world with his dazzling stroke play and incredible agility. In 1951, Hashim Khan won the prestigious British Open (the unofficial world championship) for the first time and went on to repeat his feat six more times — a record in those days. Although it was eventually bettered by Geoff Hunt (8) and Jehangir Khan {10), Hashim Khan's record remains an incredible one, given that he won his first British Open crown at age 37. Incidentally, his was the first international gold brought to the newly created state struggling for recognition.

 

 

Hashim Khan's amazing physical fitness enabled him to retrieve the ball from any part of the court and he could wear down his opponent with what appeared to be effortless ease. Quick to size up his opponents, he was wily in attack and moved on court like a panther. His rags-to-riches story inspired many of his kinsmen from Nawankilli, a sleepy little village in the Frontier, to try and emulate the feats of Pakistan's first sporting idol. It was largely because of the inspiration provided by his achievements that Pakistan went on to produce a long line of sporting personalities who were to enrich the new state immeasurably and win it accolades from all over the world.

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Injury, circuit fatigue and burnout have been the professional's sportsmen's enemies. And, the demand from the sponsors and the management to play more is an added pressure on the players.


British Open final appearances


Wins (4)
Year     Opponent in final     Score in final
1959     Mo Khan     9-5, 9-0, 9-1
1960     Roshan Khan     9-1, 9-0, 9-0
1961     Mo Khan     6-9, 9-1, 9-4, 0-9, 9-2
1962     Mo Khan     9-6, 7-9, 10-8, 2-9, 9-4
Runner-ups (3)
Year     Opponent in final     Score in final
1954     Hashim Khan     6-9, 9-6, 9-6, 7-9, 9-5
1955     Hashim Khan     9-7, 7-9, 9-7, 5-9, 9-7
1958     Hashim Khan     9-7, 6-9, 9-6, 9-7

By Faraz Agha

published in The Herald, Pakistan (Jan 2000)