Former World No.1 Mohamed ElShorbagy says he is excited to fight for squash’s top honours under the flag of England after it was announced earlier today that the current World No.3 had switched his allegiance from Egypt to his adopted home country.
The 2017 World Champion, who successfully applied for British citizenship earlier year, has lived in England since the age of 15 and has called Bristol his home since 2009.
“I’m really excited about this challenge and the next phase of my career. I want to try and give everything I can to the country that has supported me for so many years,” the Alexandria-born Englishman said.
“England squash have helped me so much and when you have people appreciate you for who you are like that, without expecting anything back from you, it always meant a lot for me. When I got the opportunity to represent England, I got so excited that I can give back to the people that have done so much for me. I’ve won so many titles playing for Egypt, you know, and I feel like I owe it to England to try and win titles for them playing under the English flag.
“Of course I would like to win another World Championship and I would like to come back to number one under the English flag and I’m going to give everything I can to do this.”
ElShorbagy’s first tournament playing under the England flag will be the Necker Mauritius Open, a PSA World Tour event, between 7-11 June, followed by a debut appearance British National Squash Championships in Manchester between 14-18 June, where he will be men’s top seed. He will make his Team England debut at the European Team Championships in 2023.
The 31-year-old, who spent 50 months as the World No.1 between 2014-2021, also revealed that he is also looking forward to playing a role in helping future England stars reach their potential.
“When I was speaking with England Squash, I told them that I want to help with the next generation of English talent as well.
“England has a long history in the sport and I grew up watching that history. Training under Jonah Barrington, playing with and against England’s ‘Golden Generation’ of Nick (Matthew), James (Willstrop), Daryl (Selby) and Pete (Barker) – I learned what that English history is and I want to play a part in keeping that going. One of my main strengths as a squash player is my mental strength, it plays a big part of the entire game and I want to teach this to the next generations in England.
“There is a lot of youngsters in England that have great talent and they have a lot of potential. I was once like them, I had a lot of potential and I had a good talent, but I was lucky enough to have the right people around me and with the right mentality. It’s easy to have talent, there are a lot of talented players in this world, but mentality becomes the most important thing and I learnt that from that ‘Golden Generation.’
“Now I’d like to help bring that culture back again, because I felt like after that generation retired there haven’t been any English players with that same kind of mentality. I feel like I can help with that part of the game – that’s what I’m excited about.”
England Squash CEO Mark Williams said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Mohamed to England Squash and look forward to helping him continue to perform at the highest level of the game. We’re delighted that he’s so keen to play a role in supporting the exciting crop of young players currently coming through our talent pathway.
“We’re committed to extending England’s legacy as one of the most successful nations in squash and feel confident that adding a player of Mohamed’s calibre will help to inspire and encourage current and future generations of English talent.”
England National Coach David Campion added: “Mohamed is a proven winner at the highest level of the game. He’s a formidable competitor and one of the best players of his generation who I believe will add a great deal to the England system.
“Mohamed is eager to impart his knowledge to the younger England generation and play the role of cultural architect, inspiring them through his leadership on and off court. He is at the place our players all want to be one day. Having a closer insight into his experiences can guide players to extract the very best of themselves in terms of belief, confidence, self-discipline and ultimately performance.”