Squash is a game played by either two or four players. It is played in a four-walled closed room, and the target of the game is to win the most points. These points are won by smashing the ball with a squash racket. This is an intense sport and like many others, these were the individuals who put a name for squash across the world. Here are ten legendary squash players who changed the game, and whose names continues to set the benchmark for every new player.
Jahangir Khan, known as ‘the king of squash’ he is considered to be the greatest player of all time. He became the youngest World Open Championship in 1981 at the age of 17, and went to many titles in the course of his illustrious career. He is the only person to win the World Open without dropping a match. He managed to maintain an unbeaten record without losing a single match from April 81 to Nov. 86, which is calculated to be 555 matches. After he retired he was a part of the squash association and mentored a lot of younger players. He was also awarded the honor ‘Sportsman of the Millennium’ by the Government of Pakistan.
Jansher Khan, a literal unknown who blazed into the field with a win in the World Junior Championship at Australia on 1986. He went to win many laurels including 6 British Open Titles and 8 World Open Titles. He had a brash, and outspoken personality but he was respected since he was a superb athlete and exhibited his amazing mettle on court. He worked relentlessly to perfect his form. He and Jahangir Khan were two athletes who made Pakistan the leader in the sports of squash.
Ramy Ashour, who hails from Egypt is recognized as one of the most adored players by his fans. His technical skill in the game is peerless, and this made him a popular player in the circuit. He went on a winning in 2012 when he went unbeaten in almost 49 matches. But his career was marred by many injuries which got progressively worse with every match. This led to him taking a break, he has returned to the game in recent times. His returns have been marked with epic matches and flawless victories, and he brings in grace and poise to the game.
Peter Nicol, who was born in Scotland dominated the game from 1992 to 2006. He is known as the one of the most talented retrievers of the game, his quite personality made him an enigma. He also had a long-standing rivalry with Jonathon Power, which is known to be one of the greatest feuds in the world of squash. He won over 3 British Open Titles and 1 World Open Title, he has the distinction to be the first British player to win the World Open.
Chris Dittmar, who was formerly the World No. 1 ranked squash player and he is now a sports commentator. He is known as ‘the player who never won’, being in the lead to win the World Open Title five times. But he was unable to do so since he lost to either one of the two Khans. He is remembered for the timeless match with Jahangir Khan in Kuala Lumpur in 1989. He is an extremely honest player who defended his country’s title and, in a team, match finally scored a win against Jahangir Khan.
Geoff Hunt, considered to be the World No. 1 from 1975 to 1980. He was known for his tenacity and he was a genuine threat to the Khans themselves. In a match Jahangir Khan recalled about how great Hunt really was and almost managed to nab the title from him. He won the World Open four times and won so many others. His long and splendid career is littered with his conquests. He retired due to injuries in his back which caused him problems.
David Palmer, from Australia who is known for his amazing game honed by years of training. He has about 2 World Open Titles and 4 British Open Titles, under his belt. His fitness regime awed his contemporaries and he was known for his ruthless focus on and off court. He completed 10 years undefeated by retaining his position in the world top 10 with an iron grip. Post his retirement in 2001, he now coaches the squash team in Cornell University.
Jonathon Power, the Canadian powerhouse who shows signs of a remarkable player at a very tender age. He is the only North American player to become World No.1. He has the fortune to have the same sponsor as Jahangir Khan and trained with him. His training and his temper made one of the most dynamic players on the court. He played with a zest not seen in the game anymore. He retired in 2006, he still remembered for his perfect drop and deception shots.
Nick Matthew, nicknamed ‘The Wolf’ is one of those players who managed to be one of the few players who were beloved by fans everywhere. He won the World Open and British Open over 3 times. In 2006, he was the first English man to win the British Open Title. He also has honorary degree from the University of Sheffield. He even published his autobiography on his time as a squash player which fans enjoyed and it was met with a lot of success. He was also awarded many honors for his contribution to the sport
Hashim Khan, the patriarch of the squash world. Born in Pakistan, his is a story of an underdog. He left school to work as ballboy and was paid a pittance. He slowly learnt the ropes of the game and ended up winning the British Open a total of six times from 1951 to 1956. His small stature and his disarming appearance belied his fiery prowess as a squash player often causing his opponents to underestimate him. He continued to be active in the squash circuit continuing to foster the love for the game amongst the younger generation. He lived to the ripe old age of 100 and passed away on 2014 at his home. The squash world lost one of his greatest players, and scores of his fans mourned his demise.
Since every year newer players enter the field breaking more records and bringing in more accomplishments. It is vital we remember the greats who paved and continue to pave the way for them.