Pakistan rejoices as Hamza Khan revives the Squash Crown after 37 years

Moeeza Arshad July 24, 2023


In a momentous victory for Pakistan, 17-year-old squash star Hamza Khan brought home the World Junior Squash title after an astounding 3-1 triumph over Egypt’s Mohamed Zakaria in a thrilling match held in Melbourne. This historic win marks the first time a Pakistani player has claimed the championship since the legendary Jansher Khan’s victory in 1986, a remarkable 37-year gap. Hailing from the quaint village of Nawa Killi in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Hamza Khan’s triumph cements the region’s reputation as a breeding ground for squash legends, a sport that once propelled Pakistan to global dominance.

The journey to this momentous victory was no walk in the park for young Hamza. Coming from a family that boasts the likes of world number 14 Shahid Zaman Khan and former British Open winner Qamar Zaman, it was evident that the young athlete had a formidable pedigree to live up to. Shahid Zaman Khan, in fact, is Hamza’s maternal uncle, and Qamar Zaman has a close familial relationship as well, as Zaman’s late wife was the sister of Hamza’s father.

When asked about his early days in the sport, Hamza Khan credited his father, Niazullah, for being a pivotal figure in his journey to success. Niazullah, a sports enthusiast who had represented Islamia College and Peshawar University in inter-college and inter-university sports, took young Hamza under his wing. Together, they frequented the Hashim Khan Squash Complex, where Hamza honed his skills and passion for the game. His talent was evident when he competed in the U-11 trials for the PAF Academy Peshawar, securing victory over seven other boys, including the reigning Pakistan U-11 champion, and securing his spot on the team.

Looking forward, Hamza Khan shared his aspirations to bring major titles back to Pakistan. He dreams of clinching prestigious victories in tournaments like the British Open and the World Open, aiming to restore Pakistan’s former glory in squash on the international stage. Hamza Khan’s remarkable triumph in the World Junior Squash Championship is not only a celebration for Pakistan but also a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and determination in achieving sporting excellence. As the nation revels in this long-awaited victory, young athletes across the country find new inspiration to pursue their dreams and strive for greatness in the world of sports.

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