"Keep Eye on Ball: The Hashim Khan Story" Film Review
After First British Open Win in 1950
Hashim Khan, the Greatest Squash Player of All Time
Tonight I had the pleasure of watching a special showing of "Keep Eye on Ball: The Hashim Khan Story" about the greatest squash champion of all time. The showing was at the Roeper School in Birmingham, Michigan. The movie's producer, Beth Rasin, told the audience about the six-year process of making the movie which was directed by Josh Easdon.
The movie tells the amazing story about how a little Pashtun boy, born in 1916 or thereabouts, growing up in in an isolated village near Peshawar, British colonial India, now Pakistan, began playing squash on a British army base where his father worked and ended up becoming the greatest squash player in the history of the sport. At 93 he continued to play and teach squash in Denver.
After winning 7 British Open championships, and championships in India, Scotland, Australia as well Hashim Khan came In 1963 he came to the United States to work as pro at the Uptown Athletic Club in Detroit. A deciding factor was the education of his large family of eight sons and five daughters that he could not afford on the income of a squash professional in his native country. Because of his wife’s illness he moved to Denver in the early 1980’s where he became a professional at the Denver Athletic Club. His sons, his brother and other Khans have dominated world squash competition ever since.
Here is an excerpt from the brochure distributed at the showing of the movie in Birmingham tonight:.
"In 1951, a then-unknown squash player from the newly formed country of Pakistan won the British Open and changed the sport of squash forever.
"'Keep Eye on Ball: the Hashim Khan Story' is an historic film which brings to the screen for the very first time Hashim's story along with the history of squash and an intimate glimpse of the history of Pakistan and the Pashtun tribe, what it means to be a Muslim and the cultural juxtapositions of a Pakistani-American family."
"Rarely there come into our midst extraordinary athletes whose talents take them beyond the boundaries of their sport. Icons like Pele and Muhammad Ali...and Hashim Khan. An extraordinary champion who is now in his nineties, Hashims passion for squash has taken him on an eight decade journey corssing economic, geographic and generational bourndaries and transcending social, cultural and religious biases."
The producers of the film are seeking donations to enable them to finish and distribute the film throughout the world. Contributions may be made to support this special project as follows:
New York Foundation for the Arts
Fiscal Sponsorship Program
155 Avenue of the Americas 14th Floor
NY, NY 10013-1507
(Make your check payable to: New York Foundation for the Arts.)
Please find enclosed a contribution in the amount of $_________.It is my wish that this contribution support "Keep Eye on Ball: The Hashim Khan Story," a project that you sponsor.
12-30-07NYTimes--Hashim Khan, a Legend at 93, Still Chases the Game
- A Legend, at 93, Still Chases the Game - New York Times
Hashim Khan, who has won seven British Open squash titles, is a national hero in Pakistan, where a small railway station bears his name.
SquashMagazine--Hashim Khan Turns 90 on July 1, 2004
- Hashim Khan Turns 90
Hashim grew up thinking he was born in 1914. When he was first approached, in 1951, about coming to England to play in the British Open, he thought they would not let him play in the tournament if they knew he was 37. So he made himself 35, with 1916
Squash Films by Josh Easdon
- Squash Films - by Josh Easdon
Hashim Khan: A Squash Champion's Story
The Great Khans Are the Kings of Squash
- The Great Khans are the Kings of Squash
Squash to the Khans is not a game at all, but a sacred family trust. With single-minded zeal, they've learned to dominate it as no other family has ever dominated any sport.
Hashim Khan in Action at 92
"Khan of Khans" The New Yorker 2-1-64
- The Sporting Scene: KHAN OF KHANS : The New Yorker
THE SPORTING SCENE about Hashim Khan, the Pakistani squash racquets player who won the U.S. Open Championship last year and came close to winning it again a couple of weeks ago, when he was defeated in the final by his 26-year-old nephew Mohibullah K
"The Valley of the Khans" The New Yorker Feb 21 1973
- The Sporting Scene: THE VALLEY OF THE KHANS : The New Yorker
THE SPORTING SCENE about squash. Tells about the career of Hashim Khan, the greatest squash-racquests player of all time. He was born in Pakistan, began his squash career there & later played in England, before making his American debut in 1954 a