Greatest Squash Players
Squash was derived from the game of racquets from England and was invented by the Harrow School in 1830. It was first played in the outdoor court, and when the school authority faced difficulties while playing it outdoor, they built the outside walls and made it an indoor game. Eventually, it started to spread out in other schools and later spread throughout the world. According to World Squash Federation, there are 49,908 squash courts in the world and England has the greatest number at nearly 8,500. 188 countries and territories have at least one court while major countries have more than 1,000. Squash is recognized by the International Olympic Committee, and is soon to be incorporated in the future Olympic programs. Forbes voted squash as the No. 1 healthy sport to play, in 2003. Squash has delivered some of the finest athletes in the sports history, starting from the very first time it was played on international levels. So here is the list of top 10 greatest squash players of all time.
Top 10 Greatest Squash Players of All Time
1. Jahangir Khan
Retired Pakistani squash player Jahangir Khan is widely regarded as the greatest player in the history of squash. He was unbeaten in competitive play when he was in his top form and won 555 matches consecutively from 1981 to 1986. He is the Guinness World Records holder for this 555 winning legacy as the longest winning streak by any athlete in any top-level professional sport. He won the World Amateur Championships at the age of 15 and won World Open Champion at the age of 17 as the youngest player ever in squash history. He won the British Open a record ten times and the World Open six times during his career. Besides squash, he also became the President of the World Squash Federation from 2002 to 2008 and was re-appointed as the Emeritus President in 2012.
2. Jansher Khan
Retired Pakistani squash player Jansher Khan was widely regarded as a hard competitor of squash legend Jahangir Khan even during his top form, and was also considered as one of the best player in history of the squash. Jansher won the World Junior Squash Championship title at the age of 17 in 1986. Jansher achieved his first win over Jahangir with straight games in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open in September 1987 and continued to beat Jahangir in their next eight encounters consecutively. He won the World Open a record 8 times, and the British Open 6 times, during his amazing career. Jansher was ranked the World No. 1 in squash for over 10 years and won a total of 99 professional titles before he retired in 2002.
4. Peter Nicol
Former Scottish squash player Peter Nicol represented Scotland and England in international squash during his career and widely considered as one of the most outstanding international squash players of all time. He became the first player from England to hold the World No. 1 ranking in 1998. Peter won a World Open title, two British Open titles and four Gold Medals in Commonwealth Games during his career. He also won Super Series Finals titles consecutive three times, two PSA Masters titles, two British National Championship titles and three Tournament of Champions titles. He won 52 titles and participated in 69 Tour finals before his retirement. Peter was ranked World No. 1 squash player for a total of 60 months during his career which includes a consecutive 24-month streak from 2002 to 2003.
4. Geoff Hunt
Retired Australian squash player Geoff Hunt is widely regarded as one of the greatest squash players in the history of squash during the golden era. He won the Australian Junior Championship in 1963, and turned professional while winning the Australian Amateur Men’s Championship in 1965. He became the inaugural World Open title champion in 1976 and continued to achieve the reward on the first four occasions it was held from1976 to 1980. Geoff also won the British Open eight times from 1969 to 1981, and won the International Amateur Individual Championship three times from 1967 to 1971. He was inducted in the World Squash Federation Hall of Fame and also the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Besides squash, he served as the Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport from 1985 to 2003.
5. Jonathon Power
Retired Canadian squash player Jonathon Power is widely considered as one of the greatest shotmakers in the history of squash. He is acclaimed for his wide variety of deception shots and drop shots. He is the first North American squash player to reach the World No. 1 ranking in squash. He won 36 PSA tournaments and participated in 58 finals during his career. He won the World Open in 1998, the British Open in 1999, the PSA Masters three times from 2001 to 2005, the Super Series Finals two times from 2003 to 2005, the Tournament of Champions four times from 1996 to 2002 and also won the Gold Medal in men’s singles at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. After his retirement in 2006, he is currently running the Power Squash Academy in Toronto, Canada.
6. Chris Dittmar
Retired Australian squash player Chris Dittmar is widely considered as the “best player never to have won” in any of the squash’s two biggest titles. He won the British Open Junior Championship in 1981 but never won a singles titles as a pro. Many sports critics stated that he was perhaps unlucky to play squash during the same era as two great Pakistani players, the legendary Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan. Chris managed to beat one of the two Khans in many semi-final rounds, but was defeated by the other in the finals. He participated in at the World Open finals five times from 1983 to 1992, and won two silvers at the British Open in 1985 and 1993. Besides his singles career, he also captained the Australian national squash team and won the World Team Squash Championships in 1989.
7. F. D. Amr Bey
Former Egyptian squash player F. D. Amr Bey is widely considered as the first truly dominant squash player in the history of sports and also the best squash creation of Egypt. He started his squash journey as a ball boy at Gezira Sporting Club in Egypt. His first win in the British Open men’s title came as he defeated Don Butcher in 1933 who won the title previous two years. He won the British Open men’s title for six consecutive times from 1933 to 1938. Amr also has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for winning the British Amateur Championship 6 times from 1931 to 1937. He was honored as the pioneer leader in the “golden age of sports in Egypt” and nicknamed “Human Streak of Lightning.” He received the World Squash Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He died in 1972.
8. Hashim Khan
Legendary squash player from Pakistan, Hashim Khan, is widely regarded as the best squash player of pre-modern era and also as one of the best athletes in sports history. He started his squash journey as an unpaid ball boy at a club for British army officers in Peshawar, Pakistan. He won his first championship in the All-of-India squash championship in 1944 in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, and continued to win the title for next two years. He won the first Pakistani squash championship after being appointed as a squash professional at the Pakistan Air Force in 1949. Hashim won the British Open Squash Championships a total of seven times which includes consecutive titles from 1951 to 1956, and again in 1958. He died on 18 August 2014 at the age of 100.
9. Jonah Barrington
Retired English-born Irishman player of squash, Jonah Barrington, is widely regarded as one of the greatest squash players of all time. When World Championship was not established officially, the British Open was considered to be the effective world championship of the squash during that era. He won the British Open title 6 times, from 1967 to 1973, and became the most successful British squash player ever. He was defeated in the first set with 0-9 in one of his most notable games with legendary Geoff Hunt, but then he made an amazing comeback from the second set and won the match with 9–7, 10–8, 6–9 and 9–7. Besides squash, he also wrote the Murder in the Squash Court: the only way to win with Angela Patmore.
10. Ramy Ashour
Professional Egyptian squash player RamyAshour is the youngest player to reach No. 1 position at the age of 22 in the squash world since the 1980s. He is widely considered the best squash player in recent times. He won the Men’s World Junior Squash Championship in 2004 at the age of 16. He became the only player in squash history to win the World Junior Championships for the second time in 2006. He won his first professional title at the Canadian Squash Classic in 2007. Ramy won two World Open titles in 2008 and 2012, and won the silver in 2009. He also won the British Open in 2013, the Hong Kong Open two times in 2010 and 2012, the Qatar Classics in 2007 and the US Open in 2012. Besides singles, he also won World Team Championships twice in 2009 and 2011.
There are different variations of squash played all across the world as the U.S. hardball singles and doubles are played with a harder ball and in a different size courts. A doubles version of squash played with the standard ball on a wider court and tennis-like features is called the squash tennis. The American cousin, racquetball, which played in the relatively small court and low-bouncing balls, is also very popular.