KARACHI: Again in 1986 only a few had heard of Jansher Khan. When he landed in Brisbane for the World Junior Squash Championship, he was the only Asian.
He strolled into the ultimate after which thrashed hometown favorite Rodney Eyles in what was one of the one-sided finals within the historical past of the championships.
Jansher received the ultimate 9-2, 9-0, 9-0 in opposition to Eyles, who was one in every of Australia’s greatest gamers and had helped them win the world junior workforce title that 12 months.
It was only a matter of time earlier than Jansher would develop into the world’s No.1 squash participant. Jansher was certain of it as quickly as he received the world junior title. By no means thoughts the truth that again in 1986, the good Jahangir Khan was on the peak of his profession.
Hamza Khan, who on Sunday turned the primary Pakistani after near 37 years to win the world junior title, ought to really feel the identical. Like Jansher he might want to suppose huge to attain larger targets.
Hamza shares many similarities with Jansher. Each hail from the identical metropolis, Peshawar, and are available from a household that has produced world class gamers like the good Qamar Zaman, a former British Open champion, and Shahid Zaman.
Similar to Jansher, he hails from a modest background and has proven a whole lot of starvation, one thing that helped him to lastly win the world junior title after a couple of failed makes an attempt.
However Hamza will want much more than simply these similarities to be able to emulate Jansher.
Again in 1986, Jansher was a no one when he received the world junior crown in Brisbane. At the moment, Pakistan’s greatest hero was Jahangir. That is why the information of Jansher’s victory wasn’t celebrated the way in which Hamza’s was on Sunday.
However Jansher did not thoughts. His sights have been set on method larger titles than the world junior championship. His goal was Jahangir and his throne because the world’s primary participant. And in lower than a 12 months, Jansher dethroned the beforehand Jahangir and within the course of turned the one participant in squash historical past to concurrently maintain each the world junior and World Open titles.
And shortly after his victory within the 1987 World Open in Birmingham the place he shocked Jahangir within the semis and Australia’s Chris Dittmar within the ultimate, Jansher ended the 12 months because the No.1 participant on this planet.
No one expects Hamza to have the same meteoric rise on this planet rankings. However it’s essential for him to know that with arduous work and dedication, such success is feasible.
When a younger Jansher introduced quickly after profitable the world junior title that he would beat Jahangir, no one took him significantly. However inside a 12 months of that announcement, Jansher had overwhelmed the legend in a collection of matches and was the world’s greatest participant.
So, what did Jansher do to attain such success on the skilled circuit so quickly after profitable the junior title? Properly, firstly he educated like a person possessed. He labored arduous each on his health and his sport. And maybe extra importantly, he moved to England, then the centre of the squash universe, to coach beneath the seasoned Mohammad Yasin.
“Jansher had all of the substances that makes a world champion,” says Yasin. “And I’ve by no means seen anybody working as arduous as he did.”
One other facet that helped Jansher enormously was the assist by the Pakistan Worldwide Airways (PIA). For years PIA backed prime nationwide cricketers, hockey and squash gamers and among the many greatest beneficiaries was Jansher.
Hamza, too, will want related assist. Nonetheless, it is unlikely that PIA, which is not the organisation it was again in Jansher’s days, will have the ability to supply related assist.
However it’s essential that Hamza will get all out backing from a enterprise home in order that he can have the funds obligatory to coach and journey with out having to place the burden on his father.
By profitable in Melbourne, Hamza has taken the proverbial first step on a journey of a thousand miles. Whether or not this win marks the beginning of a wonderful new chapter for Pakistan squash will rely upon Hamza’s work ethic and the assist he will get.
However for the second, one can say that his win has given Pakistan squash a brand new lease of life. And that in itself is kind of an achievement.