'We did not ask them to send little kids to the tournament' - Pakistan 'A' captain Mohammad Haris remarks on Emerging Teams Asia Cup squad row

Pakistan A won the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup title by defeating India in the finals by 128 runs.

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Pakistan 'A' managed to retain their title at the ACC Men's Emerging Teams Asia Cup by defeating India 'A' by 128 runs in the final. Some fans lashed out at Pakistan for fielding a more experienced side in the tournament with seven players having international experience. On the other hand, no player from the India 'A' side had represented the country at the international level.

Pakistan A captain Mohammad Haris hit back at the critics saying that India weren't asked to field a young side in the tournament and that most of his teammates had only played a handful of T20Is before the tournament.

"People are saying that Pakistan sent A team with many seniors. We did not ask them to send little kids to the tournament. They say that we had international experience in our team. How much international matches have we played but? Saim has played 5, I have played 6. Those guys (India players) have played 260 IPL matches," Haris was quoted as saying by Zee News.

The side that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) picked for the eight-team tournament featured uncapped players who had done well in the Indian Premier League or at the domestic level. Yash Dhull, who has just played four IPL games was chosen to lead the side that had an average age of 20.80. On the other hand, the Pakistan A team had an average age of 23.20. The 'Men in Green' were led by Mohammad Haris, who played the last of his 14 international games against the West Indies in May.

India A defeated experienced Pakistan A side in group stage of tournament

The Pakistan A team had collectively played 85 games for the national side. Bowling all-rounder Mohammad Wasim Jr was the most experienced member, having played two Tests, 14 ODIs, and 27 T20Is. India A managed to put on a good shift in the tournament as they remained unbeaten till they reached the finals. In the group stage, they outplayed Pakistan, chasing a target of 206 successfully with eight wickets and 80 balls to spare.

Leaving all controversies aside, it must be mentioned that the ACC Emerging Asia Cup 2023 tournament certainly helped many talented youngsters to showcase their skills and prove their mettle. The players who got exposure would have surely learned a lot and it will bode well for them and their countries in the near future.

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