HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS to Nicol David for successfully defending her squash World Open championship title in Belfast on Sunday. She has certainly done the country proud, again.
I remember first playing squash many years ago at my alma mater, the Malay College in Kuala Kangsar, although I must admit I wasn't any good at the game. The college, a boys only residential school, had the only squash courts available for students in the country then.
Built in 1939, squash courts 'A' and 'B' were also the scene where the first squash tournament in the country took place also the same year. The winner, a young prince by the name of Tengku Jaafar, was later to become the Yamtuan of my home state of Negeri Sembilan and also the 10th Yang di Pertuan Agong. The losing finalist, Abdul Razak bin Hussein, was later to become the country's second prime minister.
Squash court 'A' - MCKK (photo from Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia official website)
During my time, the squash courts were also the scene where the boys will gather every week with sarongs and pillow cases stuffed with the week's washing to meet the mak ciks who did our laundry. These kind and enterprising ladies will often bring snacks and kuih to sell to us starving boys. Some of them will also bring their pretty daughters along, perhaps hoping to 'catch' one of the snotty kids who years later will become prominent politicians, senior civil servants and business tycoons...