1992–93 SAARC Quadrangular
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The 1992–93 SAARC Quadrangular cricket Tournament started in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 1992 amidst great enthusiasm and excitement. 4 teams, the 'A' teams from neighbouring India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and the full national team of the host country participated in the event. Due to the volatile political situation arising in the sub-continent, the tournament had to be abandoned at the League stage. Thus, there was no winners of the tournament.
A novel idea
Throughout the 80's a number of international teams from the test playing nations toured Bangladesh. Most of these teams were made up retired professionals or amateurs. With Bangladesh cricket entering its professional days such tours were no longer very helpful. The local cricket authority, after some thought, decided to introduce the concept of SAARC cricket. It provided the chance for the Bangladeshi cricketers to fight against the up-and-coming cricketing talents of the sub-continent. Though, this initial attempt ended abruptly, eventually this concept became a great success.
Scores in brief
|Dec. 3||Bangladesh v Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka 85 (Saiful Islam3/23, Jahangir Alam Talukdar 3/19)||Bangladesh 87/3 (Nurul Abedin 38*, Minhajul Abedin 32, Labroy 3/35)||Bangladesh wins by 7 wickets|
|4 Dec.||India V Pakistan||Pakistan 195( Basit Ali 42, Aamer Hanif 37, Rajesh Chauhan 3/25, Ajay Sharma 3/28)||India 199/1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu 95*, Vinod Kambli 46*)||India wins by 9 wickets|
|5 Dec.||Bangladesh V Pakistan||Bangladesh 159 (Akram Khan 38, Tanvir Mehedi 5/23)||Pakistan 160/5 (Shaeed Anwar 65, Shaeed Javed 55)||Pakistan wins by 5 wickets|
|6 Dec.||India V Sri Lanka||India216/3 (S. Bhave 81, Vinod Kambli 62*)||Sri Lanka 149 (Duminda Perrera 53, Ajay Sharma 5/30)||India wins by 68 runs|
|9 Dec.||Pakistan V Sri Lanka||Sri Lanka 126 ( Aamer Hanif 4/36)||Pakistan 126/1 (Basit Ali 69*)||Pakistan wins by 9 wickets|
|10 Dec||India vs Bangladesh||India 30/0 (8 overs)||Bangladesh (Did not bat)||The match & the Tournament abandoned|
India came to the tournament with the strongest team, and they were the favourites to lift the trophy. The didn't get the chance to do that, but some of the players were rewarded for their brilliant performances. Both Vinod Kambli and off-spinner Rajesh Chauhan made their test debut against England at Eden Garden, Calcutta, in Jan 1993. Navjot Singh Sidhu was recalled to open the batting, and he remained a regular member of the Indian national team till the end of the decade. Maninder Singh, the captain of the 'A' team, was recalled briefly, for the one-off test Match against Zimbabwe in March 1993. Ajay Sharma, the highest wickettaker of the tournament, earned himself a recall to the Indian ODI team. In contrast, the future Indian captain Sourav Ganguly played in all the games, but never got the chance to bat. His only over in the tournament, against the Paks, went for 13 runs.
Pakistan didn't sent their strongest available team. Instead, they gave opportunity to some youngsters. The openers, Basit Ali and Shaheed Anwar, impressed with their aggressive batting. Their seamers did well, but they didn't have the quality spinner required for slow turning pitches. The Lankan team was very weak, and they were badly beaten in all the games. Still, The pacer Gray-heemy Labroy, bowled with plenty of heart.
For the hosts, their best moment came on the opening day, with a crushing defeat of the Lankans. The medium pacers Saiful Islam, Jahangir Alam Talukdar Dulu & Gholam Nousher Prince bowled the opposition out for a mere 85. The Abedin brothers, Nobel & Nannu, then did the rest. The seamers bowled well again against Pakistan, putting them under pressure initially, but at the end the hosts didn't have enough runs on the board.
Top batsmen of the tournament (100 or more runs)
(Bangladesh V India Not Included)
|Vinod Kambli (Ind)||2||108||-*||62*||1|
|Navjot Singh Sidhu (Ind)||2||131||131.00||95*||1|
|Surendara Bhave (Ind)||2||123||61.50||81||1|
|Basit Ali (Pak)||3||111||55.50||69*||1|
|Shaheed Anwar (Pak)||3||105||35.00||65||1|
- He batted twice and remained unbeaten on each occasion.
Top bowlers of the tournament (5 or more wickets)
(Bangladesh V India Not Included)
|Ajay Sharma (Ind)||2||58||8||7.25||5/30|
|Tanvir Mehedi (Pak)||3||72||6||12.00||5/23|
|Aamer Hanif (Pak)||3||100||5||20.00||4/36|
An eventual success
Though the 1st SAARC Quadrangualr ended abruptly, the idea lived on. And in Dec. 1994, the 2nd event took place successfully. India, led by Pravin Amre won the trophy, beating Bangladesh in the final. Pakistan won the 3rd event, (Feb. 1997) beating arch rivals India in a rain affected final. Bangladesh lost all their 3 games in 1997, but it was by no means a disgraceful performance, as the oppositions in this tournament were far superior to anything before. In fact, this tournament provided a very useful preparation for the team which went to win the ICC Trophy in April. Soon, Bangladesh became a full member the ICC, & with Bangladesh regularly hosting full ODI matches the need for the SAARC tournament became obsolete. Nevertheless, there is still considerable amount of 'A' grade cricket played among the South Asian nations.
- Hasan Babli. "Antorjartik Crickete Bangladesh". Khelar Bhuban Prakashani, November, 1994.
-  The Middle Ages by Rafiqul Ameer