The Hero Cup, staged to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Cricket Association of Bengal, produced a repeat of the 1983 World Cup final. Once again, India unexpectedly defeated the favourites, West Indies, who had headed the table after the preliminary rounds with three wins in four matches. India's route to the final was less smooth: they lost heavily in their previous game with West Indies and could only tie with Zimbabwe. But a two-run win over much-fancied South Africa in their semi-final prepared the way for a home success. The fifth team to take part was Sri Lanka, whose captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, complained that his players were treated shabbily by Indian officials. Pakistan had withdrawn yet again from a visit to India for fear of Hindu militants.
With India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to host the World Cup in early 1996, these were not the only embarrassments for the organisers. Both India's matches with West Indies were disrupted by crowd trouble: at Ahmedabad, play was halted for 40 minutes ('the worst crowd I have ever seen,' according to Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin) and at Calcutta a firecracker exploded in Keith Arthurton's face. The Indian board was even more alarmed when the government, claiming that state television network Doordashan had a monopoly on events in India, prevented Trans-World International, who had bought the international TV rights, from broadcasting the opening rounds. The dispute was settled as the board anxiously assured visiting ICC officials that there would be no repetition in 1996.
Note: Matches in this section were not first-class.
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