PESHAWAR – Legendary Azam Khan, one of many biggest squash gamers of all time handed away of Coronavirus in London’s Ealing Hospital Saturday with 1000’s across the world turning into victims of this pandemic. He was 95.
Azam Khan, who gained 4 consecutive British Open titles between 1959-62, examined optimistic for COVID-19 final week and breathed his final on Saturday, his son Wasil Khan, a former British Junior Champion, confirmed the information of the unhappy demise of late Azam Khan, which hit the world sports activities circle like a jungle hearth. Himself, within the isolation with different household members, Wasil Khan, stated that the loss of life of his father was a giant shock for the entire household and positively for the sports activities circles across the world.
Federal Minister for IPC Dr. Fahmida Mirza, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan, former World Champions Jansher Khan and Qamar Zaman, Extra Secretary Ministry of IPC, having cost of DG PSB, Amina Imran Khan, Deputy DG (Technical) PSB Azam Dar, former Sports activities Minister Syed Aqil Shah, Secretary Sports activities KP Khushal Khan, Director Basic Sports activities Asfandyar Khan Khattak, Managing Director and former DG Sports activities Junaid Khan and variety of individuals from the sports activities circles in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa condoled the loss of life of legendary Azam Khan.
They expressed condolences on the unhappy demise of Azam Khan, a 4 occasions British Open Champion, who was the instrumental to lift the flag of Pakistan within the world of squash. Additionally they prayed to Almighty Allah to relaxation his soul in peace and provides persistence to the bereaved household to bear this loss.
Azam Khan was the youthful brother of Hashim Khan and performed a key position in his upbringing. He was additionally a supply of inspiration for Azam Khan all through his sporting profession. Azam Khan launched his squash profession in 1952. He first participated within the British Skilled Championship (1953) the place performed remaining together with his elder brother Hashim Khan however misplaced the match. Regardless of this, the Squash Rackets Affiliation was reluctant to permit him to enter the British Open of 1953 as a result of in these days British Open Draw was restricted to solely to sixteen gamers. Azam was performed a trial match with Brian Phillips and efficiently gained his trial match to play within the British Open.
Azam, who had settled in Britain again within the sixties, is likely one of the distinguished members of the good Khan dynasty which dominated worldwide squash many years. His elder brother, Hashim Khan, was the primary Pakistani to win the British Open again in 1951.
Azam was 11 years youthful than Hashim, who was virtually like a father determine to him. Ever since their father’s demise when Azam was nonetheless an toddler, Hashim had taken him below his wings. In 1953, Hashim took Azam to Britain with him. Azam had been coaching laborious for months however had little match follow when he landed in Britain.
He acquired his first style of actual competitors quickly after arriving in London when he performed for the professionals in opposition to the amateurs. He acquired a match in opposition to the finest participant of the rival crew, Roy Wilson. Azam misplaced that match however not earlier than stretching Wilson to full 5 video games.
The Skilled Championship was adopted by the all-important British Open.
Hashim had introduced Azam to function on this prestigious occasion. However at the moment, the British Open, which was probably the most prestigious occasion in world squash, was restricted to the high 16 gamers. Since Azam was a newcomer, he was denied entry to the occasion.
In these days there have been no qualifying rounds. Nonetheless, one factor went in Azam’s favour. He had featured within the remaining of the Professionals championship and thus deserved to participate within the British Open. It was determined on the final minute that he would get a shot at incomes a spot within the attracts of the British Open. A trial match was organized on the London Membership in opposition to main British newbie, Brian Phillips. Azam defeated him to get an entry into the match.
He made it into the semi-finals of the match. The opposite three within the final 4 have been defending champion Hashim Khan, his brother-in-law Safeerullah Khan and Roy Wilson. Sadly, Azam was pitted in opposition to Hashim whereas Safeer confronted Roy. Safeer fell to the Briton whereas within the different semi-final Hashim defeated Azam 9-6, 4-9, 9-7, 8-10, 9-Four to enter the ultimate.
Azam might not have featured within the British Open remaining however everybody within the squash world knew that Hashim has managed to arrange a worthy successor. After his loss to Roy Wilson within the Skilled vs Amateurs match, Azam was by no means crushed by a non-Pakistani participant in his whole profession. Most of his defeats got here by the hands of Hashim both within the finals or semi-finals of main worldwide tournaments.
Azam continued to function in all main occasions and his first British Open title lastly got here in 1958 when Hashim was pressured to drag out of the match due to an harm. Azam went on to win three extra British Open titles however was pressured to name it quits after snapping an Achilles tendon in 1963. He was nonetheless younger sufficient and will have made a profitable worldwide comeback however an amazing tragedy struck when his eldest son died. After the loss of life of his son, Azam misplaced curiosity in life and gave up any plans he had of returning to skilled squash.
Throughout an illustrious profession, Azam featured in seven British Open Championships and was considered one of many world’s finest shot-makers and strategists. Even the mighty Hashim Khan might by no means beat a British Open remaining opponent the way in which Azam routed compatriot Roshan Khan within the 1959 remaining. He gained 9-1, 9-0, and 9-Zero to the dismay of an offended gallery which was left astounded by the short end result of the title match.
Azam’s squash expertise was inherited by his son Wasil, who was a British Junior Champion throughout his schooldays. However squash was not a ardour for Wasil, who at this time is a profitable businessman, primarily based in London. Whereas Wasil didn’t pursue squash as a occupation, his daughter Carla, did carve a profitable skilled profession. Carla rose to grow to be a top-20 participant within the world and gained a number of worldwide titles together with the Pakistan Open, El-Salvador Open, Ottawa Open and the Iranian Open.
Initially Azam Khan was working as a coach within the Pakistan Air Drive. Azam Khan turns into British Open champion in 1959 in a win in opposition to his nephew Mohibullah Khan. He’s considered one of many biggest squash gamers within the squash enjoying world.