The Indian Super League (ISL) draft is as much a game of getting the best players out there as it is a balancing act of landing good but cheap players.
The salary cap for each team (both Indian and foreign players) has been set at ₹18 crores and only a maximum of ₹12.5 crores can be utilised to sign overseas players. Which means, spending wisely but well in the draft is of paramount importance to the teams.
Having revealed the most expensive players in the draft, here we list out the least expensive players.
Some notable names like Nikhil Kadam and Clyde Fernandes (both of whom last played for Mumbai FC in the I-League) and Souvik Das (Minerva Punjab) can be found in this list of cheapest players. Make no mistake, despite them being valued so low, clubs might actually consider going for them.
However, the cheapest player in the list is young goalkeeper Calvin Abhishek, who was on the bench in Bengaluru FC's AFC Cup final loss against Air Force Club of Iraq in November 2016. He will cost interested clubs a wage of just ₹4 lakhs per year.
A total of 199 players have signed up for the draft to be held on 23rd July in Mumbai, with teams expected to include at least 15 Indian players (retained + picked from draft) in the squad for the upcoming season.
Here are the 10 cheapest players and their contract values (age in brackets):
1) Calvin Abhishek (22) - ₹4 lakhs
2) Nikhil Kadam (23) - ₹5 lakhs
3) Souvik Das (21) - ₹5 lakhs
4) Clyde Fernandes (21) - ₹5 lakhs
5) Sumit Das (21) - ₹5 lakhs
6) Siddharth Singh (24) - ₹5 lakhs
7) Indrajeet Singh Chougule (22) - ₹5 lakhs
8) Dashyanng Kachru (23) - ₹5 lakhs
9) Imran Khan (25) - ₹5 lakhs
10) Avilash Paul (22) - ₹5 lakhs