Austral-Asia Cup

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The Austral-Asia Cup was a One Day International cricket tournament held at Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Austral-Asia Cup
Administrator Sharjah Cricket Association & International Cricket Council
Format One Day International
First tournament 1986 Austral-Asia Cup, United Arab Emirates
Last tournament 1994 Austral-Asia Cup, United Arab Emirates
Next tournament Replaced by ICC Champions Trophy
Tournament format Round-robin and Knock Out
Number of teams 7
Current champion  Pakistan (3rd title)
Most successful  Pakistan (3 titles)
Most runs India Mohammad Azharuddin (371)
Most wickets Pakistan Wasim Akram (18)

The Arab cricketer, enthusiast and millionaire Abdur Rahman Bukhathir brought cricket initially to Sharjah in the mid-1980s and he masterminded a one day tournament involving Asia and Australasia's main cricketing nations - Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

First edition 1986[edit]

Won by  Pakistan

The first tournament was held at Sharjah in April 1986. India beat New Zealand and Pakistan beat Australia in the first round. Sri Lanka as Asia Cup winners got a bye to the semi-final, where they lost to India. New Zealand fielding a weakened team were bowled all out for 64 in the other semi. Abdul Qadir took 4-9 in 10 overs.

Pakistan and India met in the final in front of a capacity crowd of 20,000. India scored 245-7 with Sunil Gavaskar top-scoring with 92. Pakistan need 90 to win of the last ten overs. Javed Miandad held the innings together. In a tense finale, the last over bowled by Chetan Sharma began with 11 runs required. During the over two wickets fell and with Pakistan needing 4 runs and India one final wicket from the last ball. Javed hit the ball into the crowd for a six. Pakistan finished on 248-9 with Javed finishing on 116 not out. It is still considered as one of the most historic moments in one-day cricket history and Javed became a Pakistani national hero.

Second edition 1990[edit]

Won by  Pakistan

The second tournament took place in April 1990 at Sharjah with Bangladesh joining in. The six teams were split into 2 groups:

Group A: Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh

Group B: India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

With Bangladesh and India falling by the wayside, Australia beat Sri Lanka in the first semi-final with Simon O'Donnell hitting a then world record 50 in 18 balls. Pakistan again bowled New Zealand out for less than 100 to go through to the final. During the tournament Waqar Younis took 4 wickets in an innings three successive times: 4-42, 6-26 and 5-20.

Pakistan scored 266-7 in the final and Australia's 10 match winning streak was brought to an end by Wasim Akram. He ended their innings with a hat-trick. Australia making 230-All Out.

Third edition 1994[edit]

Won by  Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) replaced Bangladesh as the sixth team in the tournament. Again there were two groups of three teams.

Group A: India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates

Group B: Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

The UAE and Sri Lanka did not make the semis. India defeated Australia in the first semi-final and this time Pakistan scored 328-2 with a then world record stand for the 2nd wicket between Aamer Sohail (134) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (137 not out) of 263 against New Zealand and won by 62 runs.

This set up the final most people wanted: India v Pakistan. Pakistan made 250 for 6 Aamer Sohail top scoring with 69 and India were bowled all out for 211. Pakistan had a hat-trick of Austral-Asia Cup triumphs.

No space on the fixture list[edit]

Due to the busy international fixture schedule and the match fixing allegations that tarnished cricket at places like Sharjah, the Austral-Asia Cup hasn't been contested since 1994. Tournaments such as the ICC Champions Trophy have partially taken its place.

External links[edit]