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The Sahara Cup was a bilateral ODI cricket series between Pakistan and India, which was held annually in Canada. It was staged from 1996 to 1998 at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club Ground. The series consisted of 5 ODIs, and all the matches were played in daylight. Pakistan won the first series 3-2,in 1996. India won 4-1 in 1997. Pakistan again won 4-1 in 1998. A total of 15 matches were played over a span of 3 years. Pakistan have been more successful amongst the two, with a total of 8 victories. India have 7 victories.
The series was a five-year agreement by both, the PCB and the BCCI, with the International Management Group (IMG). Trans World International (TWI) and ESPN had the telecast rights. The series had gained good popularity in the cricketing arena, just like the Sharjah cup, where two archrivals met at a neutral venue. However,the series was later called off after Sahara India, the sponsors, pulled out in the wake of the Pakistani intrusion in Kashmir in 1999. The diplomatic relations between the two countries considerably worsened during the Kargil war in 1999, and further, India suspended all cricketing ties with Pakistan from 2000, until 2004.
Following, is a brief summary of the match results.
Season 1 (1996)
- Match 1 - Sep 16,1996 - India, 8 wickets
- Match 2 - Sep 17,1996 - Pakistan, 2 wickets
- Match 3 - Sep 18,1996 - India, 55 runs
- Match 4 - Sep 21,1996 - Pakistan, 97 runs
- Match 5 - Sep 23,1996 - Pakistan, 52 runs
Season 2 (1997)
- Match 1 - Sep 13,1997 - India, 20 runs
- Match 2 - Sep 14,1997 - India, 7 wickets
- Match 3 - Sep 17,1997 - no result (Washed out due to rain)
- Match 3 - Sep 18,1997 - India, 34 runs
- Match 4 - Sep 20,1997 - India, 7 wickets
- Match 5 - Sep 21,1997 - Pakistan, 5 wickets
In season 2, 1997, India won the series 4-1. Indian players were awarded all the Man of the Match in all 5 five matches. Ajay Jadeja won the Man of the Match for his quick fire 49 in 1st match. Sourav Ganguly won all the remaining 4 Man of the Match awards for his all round performances at that time
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