Pakistan squash mourns the demise of Sohail Qaiser (1965-2016)
By ALEX WAN – Editor, Squash Mad Asia Bureau
Barely a week after the world crowned a new world junior champion, Pakistan mourns the loss of one of theirs. Sohail Qaiser (سہیل قیصر), born in 1965 and a native of Lahore, passed away on 14 August 2016 after losing his battle against cancer.
Qaiser became the third world junior champion and the first from Pakistan in 1982 when he defeated former world number 1 Chris Dittmar of Australia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Later in the year, he would also win the British under-23 Open in Wembley.
One of his other highlight of his career was winning the Men’s World Team Squash Championships in Cairo alongside the legendary Jahangir Khan and Umar Hayat Khan. It was Pakistan’s fourth title after winning in 1977, 1981 and 1983.
It was also extra sweet for Qaiser who played hero when he clinched the winning point, beating Paul Viggers 3-0 after the main score was tied at 1-all.
Ibrahim Gul, the Singapore national coach who was inspired by Qaiser as a child, said, “He was one of the most stylish and well mannered, both on and off the court, player that Punjab squash has ever produced. I don’t think Punjab squash will ever be able to produce a gem like him. He was not only an asset to Punjab, but also to Pakistan squash.”
Mansoor Zaman, Pakistan’s former world number 11 also echoed the same, “Sohail (Qaiser) was very stylish and talented. He’s also always polite to everyone.”
“Champions never die. He will be missed and will always be in our prayers”, added the 36 year old from Peshawar.
The only other Pakistani to have won the world junior title is Jansher Khan in 1986.
Pictures courtesy of Ibrahim Gul