Azam Khan, one of the greatest squash players of all time, passed away in London on Saturday after being infected with the coronavirus.
The 95-year-old Azam, who won four consecutive British Open titles between 1959-62, tested positive for COVID-19 last week and breathed his last London’s Ealing Hospital.
His son Wasil Khan, a former British junior champion, told a foreign media outlet that the hospital authorities informed the family about Azam’s demise on Saturday afternoon. “All of us here in London are in isolation and the news has come as a big jolt for us,” said Wasil.
Jonah Barrington, the six times British Open Champion, writes in his book, Murder in Squash Court that in 1967, a fortnight before the start of British Open, his coach Nasrullah Khan took him to his club and requested him for a match/practice session. Wherein, he scored only one point in three games. Totally shaken he requested him for another session but the next day too he could not improve on it and once again scored only one point against Azam. Only three weeks later, he writes that he won the first of his Six British Open titles. Azam was then 48 years old and had left professional squash in 1962.
During an illustrious career, Azam featured in seven British Open championships and was regarded as one of the world’s best shot-makers and strategists. Even the mighty Hashim Khan could never beat a British Open final opponent the way Azam routed compatriot Roshan Khan in the 1959 finale. He won 9-1, 9-0, 9-0 to the dismay of an angry gallery which was left astounded by the quick outcome of the title match.