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G.O.A.T #16: Ahmed Barada & Joyce Cave

Over the last month, we have given squash fans the chance to decide the greatest players in squash history as we looked over the achievements and legacies of some of the most recognisable names ever to take to a squash court.

The votes are now in and we will be announcing the results in descending order to when we reveal the official men’s and women’s GOAT.

20th PlaceDon Butcher & Sheila Macintosh
19th PlaceRoshan Khan & Sue Cogswell
18th PlaceAzam Khan & Anna Craven-Smith
17th PlaceAbdelfattah AbouTaleb & Sue King

In 16th place…

Ahmed Barada

Nationality: Egypt
World Championship Title Wins: 0
World Championship Final Defeats: 1

Ahmed Barada was one of the first wave of Egyptian talent to take squash to new heights and laid down the foundations for Egypt’s domination of the sport at present.

Barada stunned the squash world when he became the first wildcard to reach the final of a PSA Super Series tournament – as World Series events were known then – and his feats set the pathway for the likes of Mohamed ElShorbagy, Ramy Ashour and Ali Farag to sit at the top of the sport as they do now.

Renowned for his cat-like quality on court, Barada first appeared on the PSA World Tour in 1992 as a 15-year-old after coming to Egypt’s attention the previous year, winning the British, French and Belgian Opens. Three years later he was in the top 50 and by 1998 was firmly embedded in the world’s top 10.

Barada was the first Egyptian to win the World Junior Championships, beating compatriot Omar El Borolossy in the 1994 final, while he claimed four successive British Open Junior titles between 1991-1994.

Two years later, he stormed through a field that contained the likes of former World Champion Rodney Eyles and former World No.4 Chris Walker to reach the final of the Al Ahram International, the iconic tournament which takes place in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Despite losing to the legendary Jansher Khan in the final, Barada had exploded onto the world squash scene and he would rise up to World No.2 1998.

Barada returned to the pyramids in 1999 as he took on Scotland’s Peter Nicol in the final of the World Championships, with the hometown hero having the hopes of 5,000 Egyptians in attendance on his shoulders.

He pushed Nicol hard in all three games but ultimately ran out of energy as he narrowly missed out on lifting the sport’s biggest trophy.

Barada bounced back from the disappointment though as he helped Egypt claim their first ever World Team Championships title just five days later.

His career was cruelly cut short though when, in 2000, he was stabbed by an unknown assailant at his home when returning home from a friend’s engagement party. Barada was stabbed twice near the spinal cord and although he made a fully recovery, the Egyptian never quite made the transition back to the squash court and retired the following year, aged 24.

Following his retirement, Barada turned his attentions towards a singing career and by 2004 had released his first album.

Joyce Cave
Nationality: English
British Open Title Wins: 3
British Open Final Defeats: 3

The first ever winner of the women’s British Open Squash Championship, Joyce Cave triumphed in 1922 to etch her name into the sport’s history books – beating her two elder sisters Margaret Cave in the semi-finals and Nancy Cave in the final.

After failing to reach the final in 1923, she then lost the 1924 event to her sister Nancy, before regaining the title in 1925 with revenge over her sister.

She went on to win the title for a third time in 1928, beating Cecily Fenwick, and made her sixth and last appearance in the tournament final in 1932 – ten years after winning the inaugural event. In that event she lost out to Susan Noel in what would be the last time a Cave sister appeared in the latter stages of the prestigious British Open.

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