Bengaluru, September 13: In 1984, a new one-day tournament came into existence - the Asia Cup. The motive behind it was to foster cricketing and bilateral ties between the South Asian neighbours - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It may be ironical that the tournament itself fell victim to political permutations several times later in its journey.
But the inaugural edition played in Sharjah, then HQ of the Asian Cricket Council, which itself was founded that year, was well received by the audience. It was still early days for ODI cricket but the fact that India were the defending world champions having won the ICC Prudential World Cup in 1983 added more significance to the event.
It's also the shortest Asia Cup so far involving just three matches. Since it was played in a round-robin format the three protagonists - India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - played each other once. India emerged the winners in the Rothmans Asia Cup winning their both the fixtures against Sri Lanka and Pakistan quite convincingly.
However, India did not send the full squad that won the 1983 World Cup giving rest to players like Kapil Dev, K Srikkanth, Syed Kirmani and Mohinder Amarnath. But the replacements such as Manoj Prabhakar, Chetan Sharma and Surinder Khanna ensured that the stalwarts were not missed.
India began the tournament with a smooth 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka. The Indian pace unit bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 96 in 41 overs. Chetan (3-22), Madan Lal (3-11) and Prabhakar (2-16) did not allow even one moment of respite for a relatively young Lankan line-up.
Indian openers Surinder Khanna (51 off 69 balls) and Ghulam Parkar (32 off 68 balls) ensured that India crossed the target in 21.4 overs. The second match against Pakistan was an eagerly awaited one and Indian batsmen contributed collectively as they reached 188 for 4 in the allotted 46 overs.
Openers Khanna was the prime figure once again with a 56 off 72 balls. Then others like Parkar (22), Sandeep Patil (43) and skipper Sunil Gavaskar (36), who shunned his pet opening slot and batted at 5, too chipped in with handy knocks.
Like India, Pakistan also came to the tournament without some frontline players like Imran Khan and Zaheer Abbas led the side. Roger Binny (3-33) and Ravi Shastri (3-40) shared six wickets among them as India bundled out Pakistan for 134 in 39.4 overs to celebrate a 54-run win.