Chris Walker Reviews The Sheriff of Squash

October 15, 2018

“The Sheriff Of Squash: The Life And Times Of Sharif Khan,” coauthored by Rob Dinerman and Sharif’s wife Karen Khan, represents more than just an absorbing read about the legendary Squash player Sharif Khan’s life story that spans almost 70 years. It delves in to the complicated challenges and journey he faced as a child: growing up in a Muslim household, being part of a Pakistani family, moving to England, being a “foreigner” at the prestigious Millfield School, being forced into an unexpected and arranged marriage before finally breaking the mold to become the person he wanted to be: a full-time professional Squash player.

This book provides a precious piece of the jigsaw that is the history of Squash between 1960 and the present day. It beautifully weaves in with my recollections of the Hunt/Barrington/Jahangir era of the “international game” that was going on across the Atlantic and the rest of the world at that time. Sharif was clearly focused more on the hardball game as a professional player in North America, but he nevertheless had strong ties to the international game as well, not least because his father, Hashim Khan, had already launched the Khan dynasty on the international courts. It was also fascinating to read about Sharif’s relationship with Jonah Barrington, how much he respected and learned from Jonah during those early days on tour, and how many of these lessons stayed with and helped him through his own remarkable career.

This is a “must read” book for many reasons. For those who are interested in what it takes to be a champion. For those who want to get a real taste of what it must have been like as Sharif Khan growing up as a little boy from a small town called Nawakille and becoming a master of his art. For those who want to learn more about the history of Squash in an era when the hardball and international games were running in parallel. And for those who love a good, true and honest story, well told, with nostalgia and love, tears, passion, joy and a life well lived.

Purchase 'The Sheriff of Squash'