If the World Cup win in 1983 brought cricket into every household in India, the Asia Cup victory in 1984 made the game even more popular and helped many young Indians aspire to be cricketers.
The Asia Cup in 1984 was called the Rothmans Asia Cup and was the first edition of the same. It was held in Sharjah at the United Arab Emirates from April 6 to April 13 with three teams participating in it — India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
It was a round-robin type tournament with each team playing the other two teams once and the one with most points won the cup. India won both their games while Sri Lanka lost to India but beat Pakistan. Pakistan lost both the matches.
India had defeated Sri Lanka convincingly on April 8 by 10 wickets after electing to field first and bowling them out for just 96 from 41 overs. Chetan Sharma and Madan Lal grabbed three wickets each, while Manoj Prabhakar had two to his name. Chasing 97 to win, India reached the total in just 21.4 overs with Surinder Khanna remaining not out on 51off 69 balls while Ghulam Parkar scored a 68-ball 32.
Few days later, on April 13, India faced Pakistan and a win would have made them the champions in the first edition of the tournament.
In a 46-over affair, India captain Sunil Gavaskar won the toss and elected to bat first, Khanna once again gave India a good start and scored 56 off 72 before getting out. However, Gavaskar (36*) and Sandeep Patil (43) made important contributions to help India post 188/4 from their 46 overs.
Chasing 189, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals and barring opener Mohsin Khan (35 off 65 balls), nobody quite got in and could help in the chase. Captain Zaheer Abbas did hang in there but once he was the eighth wicket to fall, Pakistan’s hopes diminished and they folded for 134 from 39.4 overs. Ravi Shastri (3/40) and Roger Binny (3/33) were the pick asthe bowlers for India and they won the game by 54 runs.
That was India’s first Asia Cup title and since then, the Men in Blue have gone on to win the Asia Cup seven times.