Jahangir Khan is widely considered to be the greatest squash player of all time. He dominated the sport in the 1980s and early 1990s, winning a record 10 consecutive British Open titles and an unprecedented 555 consecutive matches. His success on the court was matched by his sportsmanship and humility off the court, earning him a reputation as one of the most respected and admired figures in the sport.
Early Life and Career
Jahangir Khan was born on December 10, 1963, in Karachi, Pakistan. His father, Roshan Khan, was a former Pakistani national squash champion and his uncle, Hashim Khan, was the first great Pakistani squash player, winning the British Open 7 times between 1951 and 1958. Jahangir began playing squash at the age of 6 and quickly showed a natural talent for the game.
At the age of 13, Jahangir won his first major tournament, the Junior National Championship in Pakistan. He went on to win the Junior National Championship for the next 3 years, and in 1979 at the age of 15, he became the youngest ever winner of the Pakistani National Championship.
In 1981, at the age of 17, Jahangir made his professional debut on the World Squash Circuit. In his first year on the circuit, he reached the semi-finals of the British Open, the most prestigious tournament in squash. The following year, he reached the final, where he lost to Pakistan’s Qamar Zaman.
In 1983, Jahangir won his first major professional title, the World Junior Championship. He then went on to win the British Open in 1984, becoming the youngest ever winner of the tournament at the age of 20.
Jahangir’s domination of the sport began in 1985, when he won his second British Open title. He then went on to win the next 10 consecutive British Open titles, a record that still stands today. He also won the World Open 6 times, the Pakistani Open 8 times and the World Team Squash Championship a record 6 times with Pakistan.
In 1986, Jahangir set another record by winning his first 55 professional matches, a streak that would eventually reach 555 consecutive matches, the longest winning streak in the history of professional sports. During this time, he was virtually unbeatable, losing only 3 matches between 1985 and 1991.
Retirement and Legacy
Jahangir retired from professional squash in 1993 at the age of 29. He had won a total of 99 professional titles and had been ranked World No.1 for a record 10 years.
His legacy in the sport of squash is undeniable. He revolutionized the game with his fitness and shot-making, and his record of consecutive wins is unlikely to ever be broken. He also played a significant role in popularizing the sport in Pakistan and around the world.
Off the court, Jahangir was known for his humility and sportsmanship. He was a role model to many young players, and his contributions to the sport were recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance award and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz.
Jahangir Khan’s accomplishments on the squash court are truly remarkable. He was not only a dominant player, but also a sportsman of the highest caliber. His record of consecutive wins and his 10 consecutive British Open titles will likely never be broken. Jahangir Khan’s legacy in the sport of squash will be remembered for generations to come.