Legendary squash champion, Hashim Khan, is remembered today (April 4), the day he won the British Open Squash Championship in 1951, propelling him from relative obscurity to international icon.
Tech giant Google has also paid tribute to late squash player, Hashim Khan with his very own animated Google Doodle.
He was widely revered as one of the sport’s all-time greatest players.
Born in 1914, Khan was raised in Nawakilli, Peshawar, a small village in what was then India.
His father worked at a British officers’ club with squash courts where Khan apprenticed as a ballboy.
Learning the ropes of the sport while on his off-hours, Khan played barefoot on the club’s rough brick courts—an early testament to his tenacity.
By age 28, Khan became a squash pro and soon after, a national champion of the sport.
After winning three All-of-India titles, the newly independent Pakistan’ government drafted him to represent the country at the 1951 British Open.
Khan dominated during his first appearance at the British Open, considered squash’s world championship at the time, and went on to take home the grand prize.
He returned to Pakistan a national hero with a million people greeting him upon his arrival.
This monumental victory became the first hurrah of the Khan family’s squash dynasty.
Over the next 46 years, the tournament was won 29 times by either Khan or one of his relatives, including renowned players Jahangir Khan and Jansher Khan.
Establishing a career that earned him a spot in the U.S. Squash Hall of Fame, Khan won seven British Opens, five British Professional Championships, three U.S. Opens, and three Canadian Opens.
Hashim Khan eventually relocated to the US in 1960s, where he was invited as a squash coach.
He passed away in August 2014 at the age of 100.