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Monday, August 31, 2009

Squash (March 17, 1984)

Squash probably originated in the late 19th century from the older game of RACQUETS but in the 20th century it has met with increasing popularity specially in American colleges and universities.
Squash is a game of Skill, speed and fitness. It is comparatively inexpensive indoor game which can be played in all kinds of weather. With added emphasis on physical fitness in recent days the popularity of squash is rapidly increasing amongst people of all age groups. The game offers opportunity of maximum amount of exercise in minimum space of time.
Since World War II the game has made tremendous strides in several countries. In the 1960\'s clubs and national associations in 35 different countries of the world were affiliated with the Squash Association. Open competitions in squash started after World War I. Players from Pakistan, Australia, Great Britain and Egypt have generally dominated the scene with Pakistan\'s pre-eminence in recent years. The legendary Hashim Khan won the \'Open\' six times consecutively from 1960-55 and again in 1957 for the seventh time. Hashim Khan, Roshan Khan, Azam Khan and Mohibullah senior dominated the world squash for no less than 12 years. Qamar Zaman brightened Pakistan\'s hope for regaining the lost glory in 1974. But the country eagerly looked towards a man who could re-establish its supremacy on sound basis.
Finally in the legendary Khan dynasty of squash we had our new world champion - Jahangir Khan. Jahangir the younger brother of late Torsam Khan who was a world class player and the youngest son of Roshan Khan the 1956 World Squash Champion, was born on December 10, 1863 in Karachi.
Jahangir stormed the world scene by capturing the 1979 world amateur title in Melbourne, Australia as a 15 year old school boy. Unseeded Jahangir Khan went through the qualifying rounds to go on top and fulfilled national aspirations when he dethroned Australia\'s all time great Geoff Hunt in the epic Toronto final of the fifth World Open Championship, held in November, 1981. Hunt\'s era finally ended with Jahangir Khan s unprecedented feat - winning the World Open title at the age of 17. Pakistan honoured its youngest world champion by awarding him the President\'s Medal for Pride of Performance, a high award in sports which his illustrious father Roshan Khan got in 1960.
As a teenager, his string of victories that includes no less than 43 major titles is by itself a land mark in world squash. Jahangir Khan\'s victories include the World Open, British Open, Australian Open, Pakistan Open, German Open, New Zealand Open, Swiss Masters, Egyptian Open, World Masters, Malaysian Open, Asian Title, ISPA Masters, ISRF Title, Chichester Open, British Under-23 Open and host of other championships.
Today, Jahangir Khan\'s supremacy in the game is indisputable. He has developed phenomena prowess and with his immaculate length and irretrievable drop shorts he is capable of defeating any challenger in the world. Jahangir looks set to dominate the world squash for many years to come. His secret of phenomenal victories lies in his continuous training, hardwork and fitness regimen. Pakistan is proud of its youngest ever champion of world squash.
Pakistan Post Office is issuing a special postage stamp of Rs. 3.00 denomination on March 17, 1984 to focus attention on the game of Squash and the distinction Pakistan holds in this field.