MUMBAI: The highly anticipated Indian Players Draft of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2017/18 sprang up some surprises to Indian football lovers as several popular names were over looked by all the franchises. Some of them were big names and it was quite a surprise as to how they found no teams. Lets take look at a few of them:
Dharmaraj Ravanan: The 29-year-old has been a regular feature for FC Pune City in every season of the ISL. He also performed fairly well for Chennai City FC in the 2016/17 I-League as well as Federation Cup. Even though he may not be in the sphere of the most prominent Indian centre-backs as he once was, Ravanan’s experience means that he would have made a valuable asset for any team. Priced at 50 lakhs Ravanan may be a bit overpriced but few would have expected for him to remain unpicked after the draft.
Rana Gharami: The defender led the Bengal State Team to it’s 32nd Santosh Trophy title in March, but failed to attract franchises for the fourth edition of the ISL. The 25-year-old, who also captains Kolkata giants Mohammedan Sporting Club in the Calcutta Football League, priced at a mere Rs 12 lakhs, given his standard, Gharami would go into any of the teams in the ISL but rather he went unsold as no franchise seemed to be interested in him.
Nallappan Mohanraj: Known for his long throw-in ability, Mohanraj won the ISL in it’s first season with ATK. The Tamil Nadu-native owns a reputation of being a no-nonsense left-back, but he had a disastrous outing in ISL 3 for Chennaiyin FC and eventually lost his place into the side due to the emergence of Jerry Lalrinzuala, which may have played a role in him finding no teams in this year’s draft.
Abhishek Das: The former India Under-23 international who was a prominent member of the Chennaiyin FC side in all past seasons of ISL, did not had an good season last year as the expectations were very high after they won the title in the 2015 edition. Though Das did well for Chennai City FC in 2016/17 I-League but ISL is a different ball game altogether and the 26-year-old could not impress the franchises this time around.
Sandip Nandy: The former India keeper has been a part of the Kerala Blasters side that reached the ISL final twice. However, Nandy was never been the first choice to stand under the bar. The main reason for Nandy remaining unpicked is the fact that most of the sides have retained their first choice goalkeepers going into the draft, and some who didn’t was not interested to spend the cash on a 42-year-old keeper who they might have to release ahead of ISL 5.
Gouramangi Singh: This has to be the most surprising of the lot. The veteran defender has been a part of every ISL season. But the 31-year-old has been plagued by injuries and a dip in form recently. He played only one game for DSK Shivajains in the I-League and this probably went against him. With a price of Rs 35 lakhs, Gouramangi could have been picked. However, the combination of injuries, combined with loss of form probably influenced the teams and that is the reason he went unsold.