Sunil Chhetri
Sunil ChhetriFile

Fine with clubs sending ‘B’ team for Durand Cup: Chhetri

The 131st edition of the Durand Cup is expected to serve as perfect preparation for the Indian Super League Season 9.

CHENNAI: India and Bengaluru FC captain Sunil Chhetri on Sunday said he would not judge clubs that send their ‘B’ team to the Durand Cup, which will be hosted in three cities – Kolkata, Imphal and Guwahati – from August 16 to September 18.

While Bengaluru, Mumbai City FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC are set to field their strongest squad in the Durand Cup, defending champion FC Goa has opted for a second-string team filled with youngsters.

The 131st edition of the Durand Cup is expected to serve as perfect preparation for the Indian Super League Season 9.

“I do not have a specific comment on that. Last year, if you remember, we did not send our first team. Our team reached the semi-finals and gave a good account of itself,” the 38-year-old Chhetri told reporters at a virtual press conference.

“There are a lot of factors – when did they (the clubs) start their pre-season, what did the players do in the off-season. Regarding our team, we got together three weeks ago. We are fitter than what we were at the start. We do hear that some clubs are going to supposedly send their ‘B’ team, which is fine. You cannot control what you cannot control,” added the legendary striker who is in the twilight of his career.

“Durand Cup is an important tournament. We have not won it. In my 20 years as a player, I have not won the Durand Cup, so it is an added motivation.” Meanwhile, BFC announced the signing of centre-back Sandesh Jhingan.

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