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Roshan Khan – A Squash Icon of Pakistan


In this engaging documentary, RAVA Films explores the life and achievements of squash player Roshan Khan, who, by dint of his sheer commitment, hard work, and persistence, proved to be a true icon of the sport and still continues to inspire millions of squash players and admirers around the globe.

Roshan Khan began playing squash at a young age and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the top players in the world. He won his first British Open title in 1951 and went on to win the championship six times in total, cementing his legacy as one of the all-time greats of the sport.

An Incredible Sportsman

In addition to his success at the British Open, Roshan Khan also won the US Open championship four times and was a two-time winner of the Canadian Open. He was known for his incredible shot-making abilities, particularly his impressive backhand shot.

The documentary shows that the gifted sportsman had virtually no home of his own and no job, which compelled him to spend nights sleeping on the sidewalks of Karachi. And with no money in his pockets, he would make do with whatever was on hand, often at the cheapest food sold at the kiosks once a day.

Roshan Khan the Fighter

Let down by the appalling circumstances, Roshan Khan decided to give up squash and start searching for a job and a place to live, leading him to a state of utter frustration and anger. In an interview, he said: “I have seen and endured the word ‘trouble’ in true sense of the term.”

While the film turns the spotlight on Roshan Khan’s spate of successes on the squash court, it also highlights some of the worst tragedies he experienced in his lifetime, chief among them the loss of his young son, a gifted squash player. Moreover, other grave challenges including his lack of fitness did impede his climb to the pinnacle of his career, but he did not let these bottlenecks come in the way of his incredible success.

Roshan generally participated in the semi-finals of important international competitions throughout the remainder of his career. He left an indelible imprint on the world of squash when he won the US Open three times on the North American circuit. Roshan had to endure the worst tragedy a father could experience, when his oldest son, Torsam, died during a match in Australia in 1979.

Recipient of Prestigious Awards

In 1960, Roshan Khan was awarded Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan for his services in squash. The Pakistan Navy has built an international standard squash complex in Karachi named after Roshan Khan, who is known worldwide as RKJK, Roshan Khan, Jahangir Khan.

Roshan Khan retired from professional squash in 1963 but remained involved in the sport as a coach and mentor to younger players. This great hero of squash, who is also remembered as a tragic hero, passed away on January 6, 2008, at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest squash players of all time.

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