1984 Asia Cup: Story of the first Asia Cup winners

India happen to be the first Asia Cup winners. Back in 1984, the maiden edition of the tournament took place in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). India emerged as the first Asia Cup winners in a championship that took place from April 6 to 13.

Only three teams, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, took part in the competition, which was played in the round robin format. Only three matches took place after which India were crowned as the first Asia Cup winners.

first Asia Cup winners
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India: The first Asia Cup winners

India started their journey of first Asia Cup winners with a thumping victory by 10 wickets over Sri Lanka. England's Dickie Bird and Pakistan's Shakoor Rana were the umpires from the match at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium.

After opting to field first, India bowled their opponents out for 96 in 41 overs. India could not have expected to start their first Asia Cup winners journey in a more clinical manner. Barring Ranjan Madugalle, who scored 38 runs off 76 balls with five fours, none of the batters were able to pose a threat to the Indian bowlers.

Chetan Sharma and Madan Ali picked up three wickets apiece and gave away only 33 runs in 16 overs. Manoj Prabhakar was unplayable as well as he picked up two wickets and bowled at an economy rate of 1.60. Ravi Shastri got the wicket of Ravi Ratnayake. Roger Binny rolled his arms over for seven overs, but failed to make a breakthrough.

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India chased down the target in 21.4 overs and presented themselves as strong contenders to become the first Asia Cup winners. India did not give Sri Lanka any chance of making a comeback after a dominating show with the ball in hand.

Surinder Khanna and Ghulam Parker made sure that India's journey to becoming the first Asia Cup winners started off in style. The duo put on a partnership of 97 runs for the opening wicket. Parkar was a tad circumspect as he stayed not out on 32 off 68 balls with the help of three fours.

Khanna, on the other hand, played his strokes freely. The opening batter raced his way to scoring 51 runs off 69 balls with the help of six fours. He also earned the Player of the Match award for his breezy knock. None of the Sri Lankan bowlers looked threatening during this while. Ratnayake had an off day as he leaked 27 runs at an economy rate of 6.75.

India continued their journey of becoming the first Asia Cup winners after beating Pakistan by 54 runs in their second match. Yet another time, India did not give their opponents much breathing space. After opting to bat first, India scored 188 for the loss of four wickets in 46 overs.

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Yet another time, it was Surinder Khanna, who came to the party for India. He scored 56 runs off 72 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes. Parkar and Dilip Vengsarkar got starts, but failed to carry on and get big scores.

Sandeep Patil looked fluent in his stroke-play as he scored 43 runs off 50 balls with five fours and one six. It was his knock that gave the Indian innings some momentum towards the backend of their innings. 

Skipper Sunil Gavaskar came to bat at No.5 and stayed not out on 36 runs off 52 balls with two fours. Shahid Mahboob was the pick of tje bowlers for Pakistan after he finished with figures of 10-0-23-1.

Sarfraz Nawaz and Mudassar Nazar picked up one wicket apiece as well. Abdul Qadir bowled three maidens in his quota of 10 overs, but failed to take a wicket. Azeem Hafeez did not have the best day in the office after he leaked runs at an economy rate of 5.85 in seven overs.

Thereafter the Indian bowlers came to the party and bowled Pakistan out for 134 in 39.4 overs. This match also helped India become the first Asia Cup winners. Roger Binny was the pick of the bowlers for India after he picked up three wickets and bowled at an economy rate of 3.41. 

Binny got the wickets of Zaheer Abbas, Qasim Umar and Sarfraz Nawaz. Ravi Shastri was not far behind after he finished with decent bowling figures of 10-0-40-3. The left-arm spinner picked up the wickets of Mohsin Khan, Mudassar Nazar and Anil Dalpat. 

Chetan Sharma, Manoj Prabhakar and Madan Lal could not take wickets but did lot allow the Pakistan batters to play freely either. For Pakistan, Mohsin Khan was the standout batter as he scored 35 runs off 65 balls with one four.

At 69 for the loss of one wicket, Pakistan were well and truly in the course of winning the match and giving themselves a chance to become the first Asia Cup winners, but India did not let that happen with some accurate bowling under pressure.

India finished on top of the table and were declared the first first Asia Cup winners. They ended up four points and a net run rate of 4.212 thanks to wins in both their matches. It was a thoroughly dominating show from Sunil Gavaskar's men.

Surinder Khanna finished as the leading run-scorer of the tournament in India's quest of becoming the first Asia Cup winners. He racked up 107 runs from two matches at an average of 107 and a strike-rate of 75.88 with a top score of 56.

Ravi Shastri, who would also go on to serve as the head coach of the Indian men's team from 2017 to 2021, finished as the leading wicket-taker. He took four wickets from two matches at an economy rate of 3.11 and a strike-rate of 25.5.

After 39 years, India happen to be the most successful team in the men's Asia Cups. They have won the title eight times. Back in 2018, India won the Asia Cup for the last time after beating Mashrafe Mortaza's Bangladesh in the final at the Dubai International Stadium.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India