|Biographical detail : ||One of the greatest squash players of all time.
The patriarch of Pakistan’s squash supremacy Hashim Khan won seven British Open titles, three United States and Canadian titles.
Hashim broke the monopoly of the Egyptians at squash and went to become the father of the modern game. He began as a ball boy, in Peshawar, learning squash by playing against himself at night, by moonlight, in an open stone-floored court. Because he was so small he began by holding the racket well up the handle, a habit he never abandoned.
In 1950 he was sent to England as an official Pakistani entrant for the British Open, regarded as the unofficial world championship. In the final he defeated the world champion, Mahmoud Karim of Egypt. Hashim was accorded a hero’s welcome when he returned home. He was an engaging sight on court: with a barrel chest and a nearly baldhead, he moved around the court like lightening.
Hashim won the British Open seven times before moving to the US to teach professionally. Herbert Warren Wind wrote in The New Yorker. “The more I think about it the more convinced I am that the greatest athlete for his age the world has ever seen may well be Hashim Khan.” Khan had brought his family to the US in the early 1960s after being offered a lucrative deal to teach squash at the Uptown Athletic Club in Detroit. He had later taken a pro position at the Denver Athletic Club in the early ‘70s, with membership instantly soaring.
A polite, small, balding man Khan became an indomitable athlete with a racket in his hand, even after suffering a fractured hip late in life played squash into his early nineties.
Born in Nawakille, a small village near Peshawar, in Pakistan to an ethnic Pashtun family, Hashim Khan died of congestive heart failure in his home in Aurora, Colorado (USA), with family by his side.