Sri Lanka pulled off maybe the greatest underdog triumph in the history of cricket when they won the 1996 World Cup with a mostly semi-professional team, backed by a board with less than US$5000 in its coffers at the time. But before they got to the final, they had to play India in a packed Eden Gardens, with 100,000 baying India fans in the stands - an experience that many of the Sri Lanka players describe as one of the most daunting and surreal of their lives.
Chasing 252, it seemed like India were heading for a major defeat at 120 for 8, before the Kolkata crowd began to throw projectiles on the field and the match had to be forfeited. But it could have gone a completely different way. India's collapse was aided hugely by a crumbling pitch - something neither team saw coming. Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has repeatedly said he would have batted second had he won the toss, owing to his team's preference for chasing. He also admits that batting second on that pitch was virtually impossible. Which means that had the coin fallen against Mohammad Azharuddin, it have would been India who progressed to that final in Lahore.
India could have won a World Cup final in Pakistan, for a start, earning them the kinds of epic bragging rights that the Pakistan team may never have recovered from. Also, even if India didn't win, given Australia were their opponents in the final, it would mean that teams that we now call the Big Three would have won every World Cup for the last 24 years. Disgusting.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf