Meet The Player – Too Hot To Hamza

After securing his country’s first WSF World Junior Squash Championship title in 37 years this past July, Hamza Khan has become the hottest property on the Pakistan squash scene.

Victory over Egyptian Mohamed Zakaria in a thrilling four-game final inside Melbourne Sports Centre ensured that Khan became the first player since the legendary Jansher Khan (in 1986) to capture the sport’s premier junior title and take it back to Pakistan.

Despite falling a game behind in the final, Khan remained undeterred and matched his Egyptian opponent stroke for stroke before eventually coming through to win the match after 70 minutes of  action. 

The words “Pakistan squash is back” reverberated throughout the commentary box as the teenager collapsed to the floor in a emotional state – and coming from a family that has also produced former World No.14 Shahid Zaman Khan and former British Open winner Qamar Zaman, it does indeed appear that Hamza could have a huge future in the game.

Though still early in his squash career, Khan has already captured two Asian Junior Championships, won the British Junior U15 Open title and come away victorious from the U.S U19 Championships.

Despite Pakistan’s squash fortunes spiralling in recent years, there is hope that Hamza could prove to be a catalyst for change.

Whether Khan will fulfil his tag as Pakistan’s new champion in the making is yet to be seen, but either way, the future looks extremely bright for a young man who took time out to answer questions for Squash Player after his victory.

What were your emotions after winning the World Junior Championships and becoming the first Pakistan player to win the event since Jansher Khan in 1986? 

I felt very happy after I won and defeated Mohamed Zakaria in the final. 

It was a really proud moment for me because I was the first Pakistan player in 37 years to win the World Junior Championships.

What were your thoughts on the investigation launched by the Egyptian Squash Federation into your age? 

I was not worried about the investigation.

I was fully satisfied that nothing would happen because I have been playing international junior matches with same date of birth since 2017. 

This is my real age and I can still play at one more World Junior Championships with this age.

Have the Pakistan Squash Federation helped you out at all since you claimed the junior title? 

Yes, the Pakistan Squash Federation have given me full support in recent times after winning the World Junior Championships. 

They have also provided me with a coach and a physical trainer to help my development as a player.

How did you feel about the Twitter message sent to you from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif? 

It was amazing and I feel really proud to have received a congratulations message from the Prime Minister on Twitter after winning.

Do you enjoy the pressure of being named as the next big squash player in Pakistan?

I dont really mind it. I want to keep winning more big titles, especially at senior level, after winning the world juniors. 

I am also very thankful to Allah Almighty.

Your family has a rich history in the sport, have you learned any key lessons from them in your early stages as a player?  

Yes, I have learned a lot from my family members who have played squash before and they have been really helpful to me as Ive grown up playing. 

They are trying to help me now to give more good performances in the future.

What are your goals for 2024 and moving beyond that in your career?

One of my main goals later in my career is to become World Champion one day. 

I also want to break the record of Jahangir Khan, who won the British Open title ten times during his career.