Three teams - India, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka
– took part in the inaugural Asian Test Championship with $250 000 for the
Having already lost India the
inaugural Asian Test Championship match against Pakistan in Calcutta (an
additional Test at the end of their 1998-99 two-Test ‘Pepsi Friendship’ encounter),
India then travelled to Colombo needing to win their match against Sri Lanka.
The format for the Test
Championships was that each country played the other once, with 12 points for
a win and up to 8 in bonus points in a drawn game, before a final at Dhaka for the top two sides.
Thus India’s tour consisted only of
this one-off Test match.A
high-scoring match in batsman-friendly conditions saw India gain 5 points to Sri Lanka’s 4.
The Lankans then played Pakistan
and gained the seven points they needed to oust India from the final.
A.L.Wadekar (chairman), S.Madan Lal, A P Deshpande,Ashok Malhotra, Shivlal Yadav.
Unavailable Ajit Agarkar
(stress fracture on leg), Vinod Kambli (ankle).
Withdrawn :Javagal Srinath
(sore shins).Nehra was
brought in when Srinath was rested to get over his injury.
Tour Party Announced:Fourteen
names were announced for the Championship match on 20 February 1999.
Not selected:Devang Gandhi, Ajay Jadeja, Debasis Mohanty.
Time between selection and departure from India
(20 - 22 February)
The Indian team was to have
left for Colombo
on 21 February but could not do so due to visa problem with two members of
the contingent, Asish Nehra and manager Brijesh Patel; the travel agent Trade
Wings had applied for visas late.Departure was made from
Chennai on 22 February.