Bancroft’s School’s Yusuf Sheikh recently won silver at the Dunlop British Junior Open, which is the most prestigious event in the world junior squash calendar.

More than 600 top young players were in Birmingham for this platinum event, representing over 35 countries between them.

In November 2018, Sheikh took the British Boys’ under-13 title but this time he was competing in the Boys’ under-15 competition at international level.

There were 128 contestants in this category alone and Sheikh was one of the youngest in his age group, and the youngest player to reach the under-15 final eight.

Sheikh faced a tough draw in the semi-finals against the much stronger and experienced Pakistani number one, Muhammad Ammad, who had previously thrashed him two years earlier in the first round of the British Junior Open.

Ammad was favourite to win the tournament and, going into this semi-final Sheikh showed his nerves despite drawing confidence from his quarter-final win against Indian number one Yuvraj Wadhwani.

A straight 3-0 win earned Sheikh a place in the finals where he faced number two seed, Pakistan’s Muhammad Humza Khan.

Khan showed no sign of nerves as he beat Sheikh 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 for Pakistan’s first win since 2012.

Although disappointed at the loss, Sheikh was ecstatic to have reached the final and is now determined to come back stronger next year.

His silver was one of three medals won by England players: a second silver was won by Mariam Eissa in the Girls’ under-11 competition and there was gold for Sam Todd in the Boys’ under-17.