Egypt's four-times world champion has announced his retirement from squash ©PSA

Four-times world champion Amr Shabana of Egypt has retired from squash with immediate effect, the Professional Squash Association (PSA) has announced.

The 36-year-old, who last won the World Open back in 2009, claimed 33 titles during his 20-year career.

The Egyptian is sure to go down as one of the most decorated players in squash’s history having topped the world rankings for 33 months, the fifth longest reign at the summit of the sport.

Shabana played more than 500 matches, competing in around 180 tournaments, but he has now opted to step away from the professional game to pursue other interests within and outside of squash.

“After spending 20 years as a competitive pro athlete in the beautiful sport of squash I have decided that this is the perfect time for me to step down and relinquish my spot in the top 10 and retire from the PSA,” said Shabana in a personal message to his fans following rumours circulating on social media about his future.

“I am now going to focus on my other passion which is to help people worldwide realise their hidden potential and find their inner strengths.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank first and foremost all of you fans around the world, I have been extremely humbled by your immense support over the years.

“To all the amazing athletes I have had the pleasure to compete against, thank you for the memories.

“To the squash media, thank you for your continued support and, of course, last but not least to my wife and family thank you for your unconditional love and devotion, especially when it got tough.”

Amr Shabana won 33 titles during a career which spanned 20 years
Amr Shabana won 33 titles during a career which spanned 20 years ©Getty Images

As well as clinching four World Open crowns, Shabana was also able to win the Hong Kong Open on four occasions and the US Open twice, in 2009 and 2011.

His 2014 Tournament of Champions victory over Frenchman Gregory Gaultier saw him become the oldest-ever winner of a World Series title and PSA chief operating officer Lee Beachill says he will be missed on the tour.

“Amr Shabana’s presence will be sadly missed from the professional circuit as he is a player who is admired across the sport, from amateur players to his fellow pros,” he said.

“Shabana has been a joy to watch throughout his 20 years on the professional circuit and on behalf of the whole squash community I would like to wish him well in his future endeavours.”

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