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NOVEMBER 2001 Contents
Page 5 of 8
PAKISTAN SQUASH - THE
(All photos courtesy Squashtalk.com)
GOGI ALAUDDIN - LAHORE'S FINEST SQUASH PRODUCT
Gogi Alauddin, the "Drain Pipe Cleaner" is Lahore's finest squash product. Born inLahore in September 1950 Gogi has squash in his blood. He was the son of "Darling Old Man" Marker Ahmed Din who served the Squash Courts from 1938 till his death in 1986. Gogi's was the World's top Amateur in 1969-¹71, was among the World's top three (indeed World's No. 2 behind Geoff Hunt) from 1971-¹75 - the other two being Geoff Hunt (the legendary Australian) and Jonah Barrington. He was a finalist of the British open in 1973 and 1975, the Pakistan Open Squash Champion in 1972,1973. If there is an omission of his other titles it is regretted. Needless to say he was a great squash player.
It was in 1967 that the ball started to roll for him. He, along with Khalid Mir,Mohammed Saleem, and Sajjad Muneer was selected to represent Pakistan in Australia for the first official world Amateur Squash Championship. Sajjad reached the semis, and Hidayet the quarters. The impact of the threesome was such that they were dubbed the "Delightful 20 years old from Lahore", the "Three Musketeers', and Rex Bellamy, Squash and Lawn Tennis Correspondent of the London "Times" in an open letter to the President of Pakistan said "They are proud of their country, their country should be proud of them, Pakistan Sport could have no Finer Ambassadors".
Gogi retained his British Amateur title in 1971 and joined Geoff Hunt, Ken Hiscoe inturning professional to form the top World quartet with Jonah Barrington. These four great players laid the foundations of the modern squash of today. Squash would not be what it is today - Jonah was articulate, emphatic and British, he also had the support of the formidable British press; Geoff Hunt and Ken Hiscoe were Australian and great Champions; Gogi was the youngest but his total unorthodoxy as a player made him the most attractive commodity.
From 1971-¹76, Gogi retained his position as the World's No. 2/3. Unfortunately hecould never become the World No. 1. His way was blocked by the sturdier Jonah Barrington and Geoff Hunt. In the 1973 British Open Gogi had his chance when he beat Geoff hunt in the semis but Jonah turned in one of the most comprehensive demolitions in the finals to beat Gogi 9-3,9-3,9-5. In the finals Jonah made just three unforced errors. Gogi had another chance in the British Open final in 1975 against Qamar Zaman but fortune had better glories for Qamar in mind who beat him.
However Gogi remained amongst the World's top three until 1982 when, for somesurprising reason, he dropped out. He was never to be the same force again despite a revival in 1986 when he beat the World's No. 2 in the Pakistan Open and lost in the semis to the great Jahangir Khan.
Dubbed as the "Bobby Fischer" of Squash by Jonah, Gogi will probably go down asone of the, if not the most technical Squash player ever. He combined this with his ruthlessness to be the opponent feared most by his opposition. Initially Gogi was content to stay behind his opponent and allow him maximum leverage which is something not done in orthodox squash because the opponent has to be kept behind and the T dominated. Gogi would encourage his opponent to hit all his shots whilst moving him the extra foot, stretching him the extra six inches through phenomenal ball control and in particular the use of the lob, side wall. He would then actually demonstrate to his exhausted opponent how a winning shot was executed. In his later years he was to dominate the T more, take the ball earlier and hit his classic floating cross court drop shots even better. Gogi was technically the best Squash player the world of Squash has ever seen.
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