The Indian Super League (ISL) has finally begun and is gathering momentum with each passing day. Wonderful talents have emerged which are playing alongside their idols – the marquee players. But what has surprised fans and pundits alike is the absence of some of the India’s top players like Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and many more from the league. Chhetri, Indian football’s poster boy and captain of the national team, ploys his trade with Bengaluru FC, the current I-League champions.
The South Indian hasn’t allowed its players to participate in the ISL because of coach Ashley Westwood’s plans to focus on overseas tours and other championships. Same is the case with Robin Singh. Few others like Balwant Singh, I-League’s second highest goal scorer last year after Chhetri, were late to respond to calls and hence were not in the draft to be picked.
The ISL also misses the services of Arata Izumi – The Japan-born footballer became an Indian citizen in 2012 and has been part of the Indian national team ever since. Well, it doesn’t seem that the ISL is missing all these top footballers as the league is going smoothly. The only difference that can be seen is in terms of the standard of the game that is being played. Some of the players not taking part in the league are considered as the cream of the crop. The presence of Chhetri, Singh or Izumi in the lineup could have helped in raising the standard of the game of any football club of the country. Plus, stars like Chhetri have a huge fan following in the country and his presence can help in bringing surplus crowd to the stadiums to create an EPL-like atmosphere. The hardcore fans are surely missing the big names but it seems as though the ISL doesn’t mind.
[author image=”” ]I am Anurag Sharma pursuing bachelor in Journalism and Mass Communication from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies, Delhi. Football is like a religion for me and one day I wish to become a sports journalist. [/author]

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