India win the inaugural Asia Cup in 1984
Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar lifts the first ever Asia Cup trophy at Sharjah

In an attempt to promote goodwill between the Asian countries, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) was established in 1983. The first tournament of Asia Cup was played the subsequent year. Winning the tournament is a matter of pride for the Asian teams, few of whom are giants in the game of cricket. The Asia Cup trophy is currently held by Sri Lanka, who won it in Bangladesh in 2014 and along with India have won it five times, which is the most. But what can’t be changed is the fact that India were the champions in the inaugural edition.

On this day, 31-years back, India lifted the inaugural Asia Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium. It was the first ever international tournament staged at that venue, which later went on to host the most number of One-Day Internationals (ODIs). The three participating sides were India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka pulled off an upset when they beat Pakistan in the opening match, but India, who were also the World Champions then had an easy win against Sri Lanka. All India needed was a win against Pakistan to lift the title.

Batting first, India put on 188 for four on the board after 46 overs. Surinder Khanna struck 56 from 72 balls, while Sandeep Patil scored 43 from 50. Skipper Sunil Gavaskar scored an unbeaten 36 towards the end to help India to the total. Pakistan were off to a good start but there were four run outs in the innings. Madan Lal and Ravi Shastri took three-wicket a piece to ensure that Pakistan were bundled out for 134.

A victory is always sweet but sweeter if it has come against your arch-rivals. In the above photograph, we see Indian skipper Gavaskar lifting the inaugural Asia Cup trophy.