Skip to content

Greatest Squash Player: Jansher Khan & Nour El Sherbini Voted Number 4

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
16th PlaceAhmed Barada & Joyce Cave
15th PlaceF.D. Amr Bey & Silvia Huntsman
14th PlaceMahmoud Karim & Nancy Cave
13th PlaceQamar Zaman & Janet Morgan
12th PlaceJonah Barrington & Rachael Grinham
11th PlacePeter Nicol & Vicki Cardwell
10th PlaceHashim Khan & Margot Lumb
9th PlaceMohamed ElShorbagy and Liz Irving
8th PlaceGeoff Hunt and Michelle Martin
7th PlaceGregory Gaultier and Laura Massaro
6th PlaceNick Matthew and Sarah Fitz-Gerald
5th PlaceJonathon Power and Raneem El Welily

In 4th place…..

Jansher Khan

Nationality: Pakistani
World Championship Title Wins: 8
World Championship Final Defeats: 1
British Open Title Wins: 6
British Open Final Defeats: 3

A key part of the Pakistani dominance of the sport throughout the 80s and 90s, Jansher Khan won the World Championships a record eight times and also added six British Open titles to a glittering trophy-haul.

Jansher, the younger brother of former British Open finalist Mohibullah Khan, first rose to prominence by winning the 1986 World Junior Championship but proved that he was mature enough for the senior game just a year later as he captured his first World Championship crown.

That was also the first year that the then teenage Jansher first rose to the summit of the World Rankings and the coveted World No.1 spot traded hands between Jansher and his great rival, Jahangir, for the next decade.

Jahangir swept past Jansher in straight games in the final of that year’s British Open but Jansher ultimately came out on top in the pair’s head-to-head record, winning 19 competitive matches to Jahangir’s 18, while he spent three more months than Jahangir did at World No.1, managing 97 in all.

Jansher was known for his lighting quick reflexes and movement round court while his training regime matched that of famously hard trainers Jonah Barrington, Geoff Hunt and Jahangir; Jansher would often line up four or five players during training sessions and play them one after the other, very rarely dropping a single game.

That fitness came to the fore as he was forced all the way to five games in the 1989 World Championships by Chris Dittmar but ultimately came through to win, and he beat the same opponent in the title deciders of the 1990 and 1992 tournaments.

1992 was also the year that Jansher broke his British Open title duck after two previous final defeats – both to Jahangir – and he would go on to win the famous tournament six times in a row.

Four more World Championship crowns would also follow for the Pakistani legend – including a 1993 triumph over Jahangir – while his reign at World No.1 continued right up until 1998 when, with his knees starting to fail him, he was overtaken by Peter Nicol.

Jansher’s career came to an end three years later, and with it went almost five decades of Pakistani dominance in the sport.

Jansher’s final professional title count of 99 is the greatest of any player since records began and both his and Jahangir’s exploits will go down in history.

Nour El Sherbini

Nationality: Egyptian
World Championship Wins: 2
World Championship Finals: 4
British Open Wins: 2
British Open Finals: 3
PSA Tour Titles: 17

Despite being just 22-years-old, Egypt’s Nour El Sherbini has already written herself into the squash history books and put her name into the debate as one of the greatest players ever to pick up a squash racket.

The Alexandria-born player first captured the attention of squash fans when she clinched the World Junior Championship in 2009 as a thirteen year old, becoming the youngest player ever to win the tournament. She would go on to win the event on two more occasions – in 2012 and 2013 – to become the first player ever to win the title three times.

In 2012 she became the youngest player ever to reach the final of the iconic British Open, losing to Nicol David, while a year later she became the youngest player ever to reach the senior World Championship final – losing a narrow 3-2 battle to Laura Massaro.

In 2016 she avenged both those defeats to win the British Open for the first time in her career before then defeating Massaro to win the World Championship crown – becoming the youngest ever winner of the event, and the first Egyptian woman ever to win the sport’s most iconic title, in the process.

That victory also saw El Sherbini rise to the top of the World Rankings to become just the second youngest World No.1 ever, while she has maintained her place atop the World Rankings unopposed since then, racking up a 27-month consecutive stint as No.1, the fifth longest reign as World No.1 in women’s squash history.

In 2017 she successfully defended the World Championship title and added a second British Open title in 2018 and with a career that could easily continue for another decade, El Sherbini could eclipse the feats of Susan Devoy and Nicol David if she maintains the kind of success that has accompanied her throughout her career to date so far.

Join SQUASHTV and get closer to the PSA World Tour