Jansher Khan

Jansher Khan (born 15 June 1969, in Peshawar, Pakistan[1]) is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan. During his career he won the World Open a record eight times, and the British Open six times.


Jansher is of Pashtun ethnicity and belongs to Nuwai Kelai, Peshawar.[2]

Rivalry with Jahangir

Jansher won the World Junior Squash Championship title in 1986. He also turned professional that year. At the time, the men’s professional tour was dominated by another great Pakistani player – Jahangir Khan. Jahangir won the pair’s first few encounters in late-1986 and early-1987. Jansher then scored his first win over Jahangir in September 1987, beating him in straight games in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open. Jansher then went on to beat Jahangir in their next eight consecutive encounters. This included a win in the semi-finals of the 1987 World Open, following which Jansher claimed his first World Open title by beating Australia‘s Chris Dittmar in the final.

Retirement and after squash

Jansher officially announced his retirement from squash in 2001. He won a total of 99 professional titles and was ranked the World No. 1 for over 10 years. In August 2007, Jansher announced that he was coming out of retirement to play in a Professional Squash Association tournament in London in October 2007. He said in a news conference that the reason for his comeback was that, “I feel I am mentally and physically fit to play the international circuit for another three to four years”.[3] He lost in the opening round of the event to England’s Scott Handley 11–9, 6–11, 6–11 0–11. In October 2011, It was revealed that Jansher was suffering from Parkinsonism and is currently being treated in Pakistan.[5]

Jahangir Khan

Jahangir Khan, (born 10 December 1963, in Karachi, Pakistan[1]) (sometimes spelled “Jehangir Khan“) is a former World No. 1 professional squash player from Pakistan, who is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game.[2][3][4] Jahangir Khan is originally from Neway Kelay, Peshawar.[5] During his career he won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times. From 1981 to 1986, he was unbeaten in competitive play. During that time he won 555 matches consecutively, the longest winning streak by any athlete in top-level professional sports as recorded by Guinness World Records.[6] He retired as a player in 1993, and has served as President of the World Squash Federation from 2002 to 2008, when he became Emeritus President.

Playing career

Jahangir was coached initially by his father, Roshan, the 1957 British Open champion, then by his late brother Torsam. After his brother’s sudden death he was coached by his cousin Rehmat Khan, who guided Jahangir through most of his career. Jahangir was a sickly child and physically very weak. Though the doctors had advised him not to take part in any sort of physical activity, after undergoing a couple of hernia operations his father let him play and try out their family game.
In 1979, the Pakistan selectors decided not to select Jahangir to play in the world championships in Australia, judging him too weak from a recent illness. Jahangir decided instead to enter the World Amateur Individual Championship and, at the age of 15, became the youngest-ever winner of that event. In November 1979, Jahangir’s older brother Torsam, who had been one of the leading international squash players in the 1970s, died suddenly of a heart attack during a tournament match in Australia. Torsam’s death profoundly affected Jahangir. He considered quitting the game, but decided to pursue a career in the sport as a tribute to his brother.

Notable achievements

  • Won World Amateur Championships at age 15
  • Youngest ever World Open Champion (aged 17)
  • Unbeaten in 555 consecutive matches over 5 years and 8 months
  • Won the British Open Championship 10 times in succession (1982-1993)
  • Six-times World Open Champion
  • First player to win World Open Championships without dropping a game
  • Played longest squash match in history (1983) – 2 h, 46 min

Five-year unbeaten run

In 1981, when he was 17, Jahangir became the youngest winner of the World Open, beating Australia’s Geoff Hunt (the game’s dominant player in the late-1970s) in the final.[verification needed] That tournament marked the start of an unbeaten run which lasted for five years and 555 matches. The hallmark of his play was his incredible fitness and stamina, which Rehmat Khan helped him build up through a punishing training and conditioning regime. Jahangir was quite simply the fittest player in the game, and would wear his opponents down through long rallies played at a furious pace.
In 1982, Jahangir astonished everyone by winning the International Squash Players Association Championship without losing a single point. The unbeaten run finally came to end in the final of the World Open in 1986 in Toulouse, France, when Jahangir lost to New Zealand’s Ross Norman.[verification needed] Norman had been in pursuit of Jahangir’s unbeaten streak, being beaten time and time again. “One day Jahangir will be slightly off his game and I will get him”, he vowed for five years.
Speaking about his unbeaten streak, Jahangir said: “It wasn’t my plan to create such a record. All I did was put in the effort to win every match I played and it went on for weeks, months and years until my defeat to Ross Norman in Toulouse in 1986.””The pressure began to mount as I kept winning every time and people were anxious to see if I could be beaten. In that World Open final, Ross got me. It was exactly five years and eight months. I was unbeaten for another nine months after that defeat.”

Mohammad Yousuf

Mohammad Yousuf  formerly Yousuf Youhana, یوسف یوحنا; born 27 August 1974) is a Pakistani right-handed batsman. Prior to his conversion to Islam in 2005, Yousuf was one of only a few Christians to play for the Pakistan cricket team. Yousuf was effectively banned from playing international cricket for Pakistan, for an indefinite period by the Pakistan Cricket Board on 10 March 2010, following an inquiry into the team’s defeat during the tour of Australia.[1] An official statement was released by the Pakistan Cricket Board, saying that he would not be selected again on the grounds of inciting infighting within the team.[1]On 29 March 2010, Yousuf announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket,[2] a direct reaction to the indefinite ban handed out to him by PCB. However following Pakistan’s disastrous first Test against England in July/August 2010, PCB decided to ask Yousuf to come out of retirement.[3]

Early life

Yousuf was born in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan to a family who had converted from a Hindu low caste Balmiki to Christianity.[4] His father Youhana Maseeh worked at the railway station, the family lived in the nearby Railway Colony. As a boy, he couldn’t afford a bat and so swatted his brother’s taped tennis ball offerings with wooden planks of various dimensions on surfaces masquerading as roads. As a 12-year-old, he was spotted by the Golden Gymkhana, though even then only circumstances dictated his ambitions and never thought of playing cricket, to make a living. He joined Lahore’s Forman Christian College and continued playing until suddenly giving up in early 1994.[5] For a time he tried his luck driving rickshaws in Bahawalpur.[6]
Yousuf, hailing from poor background, was plucked from the obscurity of a tailor‘s shop in the slums of the eastern city of Lahore to play a local match in the 1990s. His well-crafted shots attracted attention and he rose through the ranks to become one of Pakistan’s best batsmen. He was set to work at a tailor’s when he was pulled back by a local club was short of players. They called him to make up numbers and made a hundred which led to a season in the Bradford Cricket League, with Bowling Old Lane, and a path back into the game.[5]

Conversion to Islam

Until his conversion to Islam in 2005, Yousuf was the fourth Christian (and fifth non-Muslim overall) to play for the Pakistan cricket team, following in the footsteps of Wallis Mathias, Antao D’Souza and the Anglo-Pakistani Duncan Sharpe.[7] He also has the distinction of being the first and so far only non-Muslim to captain the country, leading the team in the 2004–05 tour of Australia where he scored a century in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He converted to Islam after attending regular preaching sessions of the Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan’s largest non-political religious grouping, whose preachers include Yousuf’s former team-mate Saeed Anwar and his brother. 
His wife Tania converted along with him and adopted the Islamic name Fatima. However, the news was kept private for three months due to family reasons, before his announcement of their conversion publicly in September 2005.[8][9] “I don’t want to give Yousuf my name after what he has done”, his mother was quoted as saying by the Daily Times newspaper. “We came to know about his decision when he offered Friday prayers at a local mosque. It was a shock”, his mother was reported as saying. However, Yousuf told the BBC that “I cannot tell you what a great feeling it is.”[10] As part of his conversion, Yousuf officially changed his name from Yousuf Youhana to Mohammad Yousuf. Former Pakistan cricketer and sports commentator Rameez Raja, who himself is Muslim, acknowledged the significance of Yousuf’s new faith: “Religion has played an integral part in his growth not just as a cricketer but as a person.”[11]