Khans Unlimited: A History of Squash in Pakistan by Dicky Rutnagur

January 01 2023

With the legendary Hashim Khan leading the way, the mighty Khans of Pakistan have dominated squash for five decades.

However, winning championships was not all they did. They widened the dimensions of the game, influenced its philosophy and technique, taught it in countries all over the world and stimulated its growth as an international sport.

Until the 1950s, squash was a game of the privileged classes. But most of its Pakistani masters came from humble backgrounds. They had to contend with poverty, sorrow and hardship in many forms. Their only assets were a God-give gift for the game and an indomitable spirit.

The story of the Khans is colourful and romantic. It is told with feeling for the game and its players by an author who has watched these stalwarts on court, travelled the world with them and who regards many of them as his friends.

Dicky Rutnagur was a sports writer for 48 years. Born in Bombay in 1931, he went into journalism fresh out of St Xavier’s College. He migrated to England in 1966 and reported on cricket, squash and badminton for The Daily Telegraph, London. During his distinguished journalistic career, Dicky covered nearly 300 Test matches, 25 British Open Squash Championships and 20 World Open Squash Championships.

“Dicky Rutnagur has a powerful, instinctive feel and affection for squash and its story. He was, above all, fully aware of the historic background to the current game and the abiding influence to this very day of those mighty men from Pakistan. He said in his introduction that at present, there is behind Jansher a lack of strength in depth. However, he knows, as I do, that the seam of golder talent remains and the next generation of Pakistan squash magicians will surely emerge. Read and enjoy the book,” said Cornish-born Irish squash player, Jonah Barrington who won the British Open title six times between 1967 and 1973 and is acknowledged universally as “Mr. Squash”