Balti boys say farewell to bowls competition

  • Other Sport
  • Saturday, 26 Jul 2014

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Two local restaurant owners took time out from their busy Glasgow curry house to represent Pakistan in lawn bowls but could not cook up a victory as they bowed out against the Falkland Islands on Saturday.

Muzahir Shan and Mohammed Qureshi, who run a restaurant near Hampden Park, received a surprise call-up to join Maqsood Khan, the secretary of Pakistan's Lawn Bowls Federation, to become the first men to play for Pakistan in the event.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd be playing in a Commonwealth Games in our home town," Qureshi told the BBC ahead of the Games.

"We've been working together for the past 27 years, running a restaurant on the south side of Glasgow. It's been a great partnership."

Unfortunately they could not make the most of home advantage and the three men lost in all five of their matches, also going down to Australia, England, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

But with their restaurant only a two-minute walk from Hampden Park, Shan joked that they will be able enjoy the closing ceremony and still make it back in time for work, where Glasgow 2014 fever has taken hold.

"Mohammed has made a few dishes for the Games," he said. “There's Tikka Shot, Kormawealth and Lawn Bhuna."

The Pakistan team still have one hope for a first bowls medal left, in the form of University of Glasgow PhD student Muhammad Shahzad, who plays in the men's single event on Sunday.

The 30-year-old only took up bowls three years ago, after an open day visit to Willowbank Bowling Club in Scotland.

"I came to Scotland for my PhD but now when I go back home I'll be taking a PhD, bowls and Irn-Bru (soft drink)," Shahzad explained of Scotland’s infamous fizzy orange beverage.

"I'm addicted to it!"

(Reporting by Sam Holden; editing by Martyn Herman)

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