Political tensions between India and Pakistan threatened their return to Toronto, where they had met in bilateral one-day series for the previous three years. Barely a fortnight before the start of the tournament, a compromise was reached: West Indies were invited to Canada to play three matches against India followed by three against Pakistan, thus keeping the Asian neighbours apart. As it happened, India and West Indies played in the final of another one-day competition, in Singapore, only three days before they met again in Toronto. In between, they had a 30-hour journey, changing planes in London. India's captain, Sachin Tendulkar, and vice-captain, Ajay Jadeja, did not travel with them as both were resting injuries; Sourav Ganguly stepped up to take charge. But West Indies looked the worse for the ordeal, and their captain, Brian Lara, complained about the pressure of non-stop cricket when they went down by eight wickets in the first game. Though they fought back in the next match, it was their only victory: they lost 2-1 to India and were whitewashed by Pakistan.
Pakistan, by contrast, had not played since the disappointment of their World Cup final defeat by Australia in June. Since then, captain Wasim Akram and two other players had been suspended while allegations of match-fixing were investigated. Wicket-keeper Moin Khan was named to lead the team in Canada. But a few days before their arrival, the Pakistan board announced that nothing had yet been disclosed to justify Wasim's suspension and he was reinstated as captain. They, too, had to cope without a star player, as Shoaib Akhtar was being treated for a shoulder strain, though they scarcely missed him. In a generally low-scoring tournament, Yousuf Youhana reinforced his reputation for reliability in the middle order, making the only century of the week, while young all-rounder Abdur Razzaq struck two fifties. For India, Ganguly and his vice-captain, Rahul Dravid, were the leading batsmen, and off-spinner Nikhil Chopratook eight wickets at eight runs apiece. Understandably, as they played twice as many matches, West Indies had the leading run-scorer, Sherwin Campbell, who numbered three fifties among his 230 runs, and the leading wicket-taker, Mervyn Dillon, who took 11 in five games at wildly varying cost. But the overall results served to boost the subcontinent, while the late-invited West Indians suffered a further blow to their already shaky morale.
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