King's Cup: Ranking ISL clubs by number of Indian Football Team players
India will begin their King's Cup campaign against Curacao at the Chang Arena in Buriram on Wednesday. This will also be India's first international match under new head coach Igor Stimac, who took over the reins from Stephen Constantine.
It will be a stern test for the Indian football team as the ISL and I-League clubs are in the off-season and the players aren't in the peak. Eredivisie, where 13 of the 23 Curacao players play, got over only in the second week of May whereas the Thai League and V. League 1 are underway.
Surprisingly, none of the players selected in the Indian team are contracted to the I-League clubs. Salam Ranjan Singh (East Bengal) was included in the initial 37-member squad but was released thereafter. Jobby Justin and Anwar Ali (Jr.) played in the I-League last season but couldn't make the cut.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam remains the only player to have not played in the ISL last season and make it to the King's Cup final squad. However, he will don Jamshedpur FC's jersey this season as his developmental stint with Indian Arrows is over.
#5 NorthEast United FC- 0
The Highlanders remain the only ISL club to not contribute a single player to the Indian football team for their King's Cup sojourn. For the 2019 Asian Cup, Rowllin Borges was their sole representative but Mumbai City FC roped him in the summer transfer window.
Redeem Tlang was the only Northeast United FC player to make it to the initial 37-member squad. But, the Shillong-born winger was released from the national camp in the first batch of players.
#4 Chennaiyin FC-1
Only one Chennaiyin FC player has made it to India's squad for the King's Cup and, it is none other than their charismatic Anirudh Thapa.
The 21-year-old played a pivotal part in India's first two matches in the AFC Asian Cup and was instrumental in Chennaiyin's Super Cup and AFC Cup campaign.
Igor Stimac also wanted to include Jerry Lalrinzuala and Jeje Lalpekhlua in the national camp but injuries sustained to them acted as a barrier.